According to Popular Science, about half of the electric trains in the Netherlands this year will run on wind power. Even more impressive is that by 2018, wind energy will power all of the trains in Belgium and Scandinavian countries.
Currently, wind energy provides 50% of the traction power on the ProRail 1.5 kV DC electrified network. In 2018, wind will power 100% of the traction power required by the trains.
The railway, which carries 1.2 million passengers every day, released about 550 kilotons of carbon dioxide before it started the switch to wind power earlier this year.
The contract – a joint venture between Netherlands Railways (RS) and power companies Eneco and Vivens – forbids the sourcing of electricity from the existing energy market; therefore, only newly built wind farms can be used to meet the 100% target.
The total consumption of electricity on the Dutch rail network is about 1.4 terawatt-hoursÂ per year.
Train operators are trying to reduce their traction energy consumption through the procurement of new trains and the adoption of more efficient driving techniques. Since 2005, RS claims the consumption of electricity per passenger kilometer has decreased by nearly 30%.