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Dutch Will Power Entire Train System With Wind Power by 2018

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Things are a little different in the Netherlands when it comes to sustainability. It may not be surprising that in a company that's well ahead of the US in terms of alternative energy sources and green construction, the citizenry would sue the government to reduce CO2 emissions. Taking things a step further, the country's rail system has agreed to run entirely on wind power by 2018, just about the time when U.S. will still be debating how to install high-speed rail networks. Trains will draw from wind farms in the Netherlands as well as Belgium and other Scandinavian countries—drawing from just domestic sources would reduce available green energy for other industries—and is already on its way to hitting its incremental goal of 70 percent wind-powered travel by next year. Let's hope they hurry up with that hyperloop, or the Dutch are really going to make us look bad.

The numbers behind this deal, between the rail system, which registers 1.2 million trips a day, and Eneco, a power supplier, are pretty incredible. The power used by the rail system is equivalent to all the power used annually by households in Amsterdam. The long-term hope for this plan is that, if this sector can successfully go carbon-free (transportation is responsible for 20% of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands), than others may follow.

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