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Renewable Energy Powers Major Japanese Railroad

Tokyu railways train at station


On April 1, Tokyu Railways trains running through Shibuya and other stations were switched to power generated only by renewable sources. Tokyu has more than 64 miles of railway tracks serving 2.2 million people a day, including commuters and schoolchildren. The sources include hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar power, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that provides the electricity and tracks its energy sourcing. Japan, the world’s sixth-biggest carbon emitter, has a goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. Tokyu headquarters Assistant Manager Yoshimasa Kitano says, “We don’t see this as reaching our goal, but just a start.” 

The carbon dioxide emissions of Tokyu’s sprawling network of seven train lines and one tram service are now zero, with green energy being used in all stations, including vending machines, security camera screening and lighting. Tokyu, which employs 3,855 people and connects Tokyo with Yokohama, is the first railroad operator in Japan to have achieved the same goal. It says the carbon dioxide reduction is equivalent to the annual average emissions of 56,000 Japanese households. About 20 percent of Japan’s electricity comes from renewable sources, according to the nonprofit Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies. The other two ecologically friendly options are batteries and hydrogen power.

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