Dutch railway system “to run entirely on wind power by 2018”

The Netherlands has set itself the goal of having its entire rail network running entirely on wind-generated electrical power by 2018.

The goal is not as far-fetched as it may seem – half of the 2,890km network is already running on wind power, and energy procurement company VIVENS will work with Dutch energy company Eneco to provide enough capacity to supply the other half.

Michel Kerkhof, account manager at Eneco, is quoted by Railway Technology, as saying: "Mobility is responsible for 20% of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, and if we want to keep travelling, it is important that we do this without burdening the environment with carbon and particulate matter.

"This contract offers all Dutch citizens the option to make a climate-neutral trip, regardless of distance."

Wind power will come from within the Netherlands as well as Belgium and Scandinavia.

Kerkhof added that the Dutch government was not providing any subsidies to the scheme. He said: "It is the result of a European tender procedure between market parties."

Altogether the system will require 1.4 terawatt hours of energy a year, which is about the same demand as Amsterdam.

Image: A train in the Netherlands (Tim Adams/Wikimedia Commons)

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  1. At last the massive potential of wind power is being realised and applied and gaining ever more acceptance worldwide!

  2. A few minutes spent with a calculator should show that this desiderata, wonderful as it sounds, is a blind alley as far as using renewables to power land transport is concerned. The principle problems is not the renewables, but the trains; anything that draws from 1MW to 18MW (the typical span of train power consumption in the EU), is not going to do anything other than be a very marginal player in land transport. That is all down to train weights – 60T for a two car tram to 1000T for a TGV set. Very light trains can’t be made because the weight ameliorates the abysmal dynamics of the coned wheelset…. on which all current trains run.

    Of course, if we ditch the coned wheelset, then there could be a future for rail running on renewables.

  3. Hahaha
    Dutch trains will not move at calm days?

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