Published on October 17th, 2011 | by Andrew Meggison2
The Future of the German Train System – 100% Reliance on Renewable Fuels
Deutsche Bahn—Germany’s railway operator—has set a target of raising the companies renewable energy consumption from 20% right now, through28% as soon as 2014, and to a full 100% by 2050.
The German rail system has been making news recently, not for its excellence or ambitious energy policy but for the deactivation of sixteen explosive devices in four days. Most bombs have been planted on tracks in the Berlin area and one was on the high-speed link between Berlin and Hamburg. A group called the “Hekla Reception Committee, Initiative for More Social Eruptions” has claimed responsibility on Monday, saying it aimed to cause widespread disruption and the group opposed Germany’s role and participation in the war in Afghanistan.
Even with social unrest targeting Germany’s rail way system, Germany is pushing not only the further construction of their rails but the perfection of the use of renewable energy in their mass transportation rail systems.
Germany is already one of, if not the, world leader in the use of renewable energy. The German Ministry for the Environment and Reactor Safety reported that in 2010 renewable energy generated more than 100 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity, providing nearly 17% of the 600 TWh of supply. Wind turbines and biomass plants delivered more than 70% of renewable generation.
Chief executive of Deutsche Bahn Energie Hans-Jürgen Witschke, the company which supplies electricity for DB trains, said:
“Environmental protection has become an important issue in the marketplace and especially in the transport sector. Even though more renewables will cost a bit more, that can be contained with an intelligent energy mix and reasonable time frame. We’re confident that cutting CO2 emissions will give us a competitive advantage.”
The company Deutsche Bahn Energie Hans uses a total of 2% of Germany’s electricity, a significant amount of power consumption. The company has indeed set the very grand goal of being 100% renewable energy reliant by 2050, a goal that not only set the company apart as a renewable energy poster child but a goal that will benefit the entire nation in which the company operates.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.