08 Jun '11, 3pm

The ‘Solar Tunnel’: a greener future for our railways? - Green Living

The ‘Solar Tunnel’: a greener future for our railways? - Green Living

The panels will generate an estimated 3.3 MWh of electricity a year, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of nearly 1,000 homes, and will decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tonnes per year. The electricity will be used to power the railway infrastructure (signalling, lighting, heating of railway stations etc) and trains using the Belgian rail network. 4,000 trains per year – equivalent to one full day of rail traffic – will be able to run entirely on solar energy. Belgium-based renewable energy company Enfinity financed, developed and built the Solar Tunnel project, at a cost, says Bart van Renterghem, head of Enfinity UK, of around £14 million. ‘Solar PV has one big advantage compared to other renewable energy technologies,’ says van Renterghem. ‘This kind of technology is really deliverable. We had a tunnel, the rooftop had no economic use at all. We ins...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/out_and_ab...

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