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Climate-neutral rail journeys become reality by 2018

May 19
08:52 2014

Within a few years, all electric trains in The Netherlands will be running on new green power. On behalf of the rail carriers grouped within the VIVENS cooperative, NS has today awarded Eneco with the contract to supply this energy. As from 2018, 100% of trains will be running on green power, enabling passengers to be truly green as they travel. Each and every day, 1.2 million journeys are made by train.

“This contract is a perfect example of how organisations in the rail sector work closely together to improve passenger experience and sustainable mobility. According to a customer survey, eight out of ten passengers consider it important for rail companies to switch over to green power. From 2018, trains will be running on green power, enabling our 1.2 million passengers to travel truly green with zero emission transport. We are very pleased to have Eneco as our partner because of their vast experience and reputation regarding green power.” stated Timo Huges, Chairman and CEO of NS
“Eneco invests substantially in sustainable power generation, for instance in constructing new wind farms. This partnership signifies that going green is a serious option for complete business sectors. As from 2018, all electricity for the rail companies will be green. Half of this electricity will be Eneco HollandseWind, which is Eneco’s green electricity generated by Dutch wind farms.” declared Jeroen de Haas, Chairman of the Board of Management of Eneco Group.

Big step
Eneco emerged as the winner from a tender for a new power contract for all electrical train traffic for the period from 2015 to 2025. A number of complex issues were tackled in this tender procedure. For instance, the requirement was set for bidders to give demonstrable examples of new green power projects. The underlying aim is to avoid procuring energy from the limited existing number of sustainable energy projects in The Netherlands as this would ramp up market prices, and at the same time to boost the process of generating green power. The annual demand of 1.4 TWh of electricity corresponds to the amount of electricity consumed by all households in Amsterdam. The partnership is the result of the largest known green contract in the Netherlands.

New green power
The green power to be used by the carriers, comes from new wind farms that are gradually coming on stream in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Belgium. Half of the power will be generated in the Netherlands, the other half will come from abroad. Eneco will ensure that there is always sufficient green power available on the grid for rail companies, even if the wind is not blowing. They will also guarantee that the volume of electricity used by the trains each year corresponds to the annual output of all new wind farms.

Increasing efficiency
By running with greater efficiency and using trains that are increasingly more efficient, rail carriers will save electricity each year. Since 2005, electricity consumption per passenger per kilometer has been reduced by 30% at NS. This shows that it is feasible to source all power consumption from renewable energies, enabling passengers to enjoy green train travel without having to pay more.

About VIVENS
VIVENS stands for the Verenigd Inkoop en Verbruik van Energie op het Nederlandse Spoorwegnet [united procurement and consumption of energy on the Dutch railway network]. The following rail carriers, including NS, have joined forces in this cooperative. Passenger carriers: Arriva Personenvervoer Nederland, Connexxion Openbaar Vervoer, Euro Express TreinCharter, Veolia Transport Rail. Freight carriers: Captrain Benelux, DB Schenker Rail Nederland, ERS Railways, HSL Logistik, Kombi Rail Europe, Locon Benelux, LTE Nederland, NMBS Logistics, Rotterdam Rail Feeding, Rurtalbahn Benelux, TX Logistik AG as well as Eurailscout Inspection & Analysis and ProRail. As the biggest consumer, NS launched the tender for the contract on behalf of VIVENS.

About NS
Every day, NS carries more than 2.3 million passengers in Europe sustainably from door to door by train, bus or tram, or alternatives such as the public transport bicycle, Zonetaxi and Greenwheels. NS (with its subsidiary Abellio) has over 30,000 employees and the countries it operates in include the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. The Thalys, ICE and international Intercity trains run by NS Hispeed are an attractive and sustainable alternative to planes and cars for longer distance, cross-border travel. Within the Netherlands, NS carries about 1.2 million passengers a day by train to their destinations with no traffic congestion or parking problems. This means that the NS trains are environmentally friendly. NS Stations is the station operating company in the Netherlands. Together with our partners, we provide pleasant and lively station areas with good facilities for parking, working, living and recreation. The NS subsidiary NedTrain services the trains, from cleaning and technical maintenance through to complete upgrade programmes. For more information on NS and its business units, go to www.ns.nl/over-ns.

About Eneco
The mission of Eneco Group (http://corporatenl.eneco.nl/pages/default.aspx) is sustainable energy for everyone. The Group’s vision is the sustainable development of the energy supply at a local level, which is achieved through collaboration. The efforts of all the parts of Eneco Group (Eneco, Stedin, Joulz, Oxxio and Ecofys) are aimed at realising the sustainability-oriented mission and vision.

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