In recent weeks a number of articles have been released detailing cities across the globe and their dedication to, or success achieving renewable energy powered rail and metro assets.
Whilst until now the UK wasn't mentioned. It looks like we are seriously considering the possibility of running our rail network in a sustainable way.
The Dutch for instance confirmed in January that their electric trains became 100% powered by wind energy. And following Melbourne signalled their intent to power their tram network via a series of large solar plants.
I for one, welcome any news which safeguards our nations infrastructure and future proofs us against the dependence of carbon energy.
Whilst at first glance the UK doesn't seem to be the renewable centre of the world, we don't benefit from geographical location best suited to solar or geothermal solutions. We do have a few aces up our sleeves as our small island nation boasts a prime location for wind and tidal.
I will watch with great interest, how the powers move towards decarbonisation and the targets they set across the journey.
Electric trains are by far the best long distance transport mode when it comes to carbon emissions – at least when their electricity comes from renewable sources like solar or wind. But the UK’s ageing power network poses a significant challenges to any bid to decarbonise road and rail that relies on the grid. There are now swathes of the British countryside where it is impossible to plug in any new solar, wind or hydropower without being hit with a whopping bill for the full costs of local network reinforcement.