In today’s world where the effects of climate change become more concerning, it has become a priority for many nations to find ways to cut back on their carbon footprint. The Netherlands has made an impressive advancement (or regression, if you think about it.) All the trains in the country are now 100% powered by wind!
Cleantechnica reports: Dutch railway companies, of which NS is by far the largest, teamed up with energy company Eneco in 2015 to cut train ride emissions drastically. Originally, 2018 was set as the target for changing to 100% renewable power sources. After having reached 75% in 2016, though, the 100% transition was completed one year ahead of schedule.
The NS alone transports 600,000 people per day, for which it needs 1.2 billion kWh of electricity a year. For comparison, this equals the electricity consumption of all households of the Dutch capital Amsterdam. It is a major step in reducing the carbon footprint of the Netherland’s transport sector.
1.2 billion kilowatts of energy from wind? Man, just imagine if we had set up a few fans in front of Trump and Clinton during our last election! We could have powered the nation for a whole month!
So the wind is used to generate electricity which runs the trains. While it would probably be less effective, I still find the mental image of a bunch of trains with billowing sails funny. It’s weird, when you think about it. Hundreds of years ago we relied on the wind to help with transportation, and now we seem to be going back to it. What will be the next big development in green technology? I hear rumors about the ability to operate machinery using only steam! Can you imagine?