BY: RHIANN MOORE
As of January 1, 2017, 600,000 daily commuters in the Netherlands have been traveling in complete carbon neutrality. This is because the Dutch NS trains now run on 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours of wind energy as a result of their recent relationship with sustainable energy supplier, Eneco. Not only has the Netherlands made amazing progress in the world’s journey towards being more eco-friendly, they also impressively accomplished the project an entire year before they intended to, showing the rest of the world (cough – TTC – cough) how efficiently these types of changes can be made. NS and Eneco have demonstrated how serious sustainable and green ideas that seem grand and impossible are actually completely capable of becoming a reality.
Rather than exclusively rely on wind energy that comes from the Netherlands, the power comes from newly built farms in Scandinavia and Belgium along with the Netherlands. This means that through the use of both domestic and foreign wind power sources Eneco is able to ensure that there is consistent energy available, even if the wind is not blowing. This means the energy will be reliable, especially considering that it takes a mere three strokes of a wind turbine to drive a railway one kilometer, or in grander terms one hour of a single running windmill allows for a train to be powered for nearly 195 kilometres.
While the Netherlands have been utilizing wind power for years, originally for more traditional activities such as pumping water and grinding grain, the use of it for a large-scale project shows the capability and reliability of sustainable power. Public transit is crucial to any country, and there are people that rely on these trains on a daily basis to get them to and from work on time. The fact that NS and Eneco determined that wind power was reliable enough to use for every trains means a great deal. Presently the world is in danger environmentally, but projects like this allow for a light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps if other places can take steps like this the world will be able to substantially lengthen its lifetime.
Wind power is created through the use of wind turbines which convert the kinetic energy in the wind into power which can be readily used in many different industries, thus making it a much more sustainable energy source that is essential as the world strives towards a more eco-friendly future.
Eneco and NS have signed a 10-year deal with the collective hope that they can reduce the energy used per individual NS passengers by 35% by 2020, compared to statistics from 2005. With their incredible start this seems like an attainable goal especially when considering Eneco’s status as one of the most sustainable major energy companies in the world and their inherent desire to take the burden off the planet and create sustainable energy for everyone. Eneco and NS have created a model for major train systems around the world, showing everyone the path towards environmental sustainability.