World-famous for their picturesque windmills, the Netherlands has always had a love affair with wind energy. While it was originally used to pump water or grind grain, wind is now helping Dutch commuters get to work. Earlier this week, one of their national railway companies, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), announced that, since 1st January, every single one of its electric trains have been running on energy harvested from wind.
They have been working with Eneco, a ‘sustainable energy supplier’ operating in the Netherlands, for several years. Their goal was to operate all NS trains on electricity produced by wind turbines by January 2018. “So we in fact reached our goal a year earlier than planned,” spokesman Ton Boon told AFP. 2015 was a record year for the country’s wind industry – according to the Global Wind Energy Council, turbines capable of generating 586 MW of electricity were installed between January and December. In 2016, Dutch wind hit the headlines again, when a 700 MW offshore windfarm near the town of Borssele became the most ‘cost-effective’ in the world. The construction of these wind farms – along with others in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Finland – helped NS and Eneco to hit their target so far ahead of schedule.