All electric trains across the Netherlands are now being powered entirely by wind energy, according to NS, the Dutch national railway firm. The incredible achievement took place from 1st January this year, meaning that the entire network is now using clean and green renewable energy for every journey across the country.
Eneco, the Dutch electricity firm, was successful in winning the supply tender from NS in 2015 and signed up to a ten-year deal. As part of this, the commitment was to ensure that the NS train network should be running entirely from wind power by January 2018, but the pace of change was so strong that the landmark was reached a whole year earlier than originally planned.
The achievement was made possible by the growing number of wind farms going online across the Netherlands, both on land and off the country's coastline.
In a statement jointly issued by NS and Eneco, the companies explained that over 600,000 passengers were the first in the world to travel by rail each day powered entirely by wind energy. The network delivers around 5,500 train services every day.
Thanks to the efficiency of the electric line, just one wind turbine operating for an hour can produce enough energy to power an electric train for 120 miles. The companies now hope to further slash energy needs by reducing per-passenger energy by an additional 35pc in the next three years compared to 2005 figures.
The news will give fresh impetus to other European nations as they drive towards their own climate change and renewable targets. Green energy campaigners in the UK will be hoping that the British government is amongst them, as energy policy from the May government remains uncertain, particularly where subsidy schemes and investment are concerned.