The Netherlands now runs all of its electric trains* on wind energy, meeting a goal to transition to 100 percent renewable energy a year ahead of schedule.
The new construction of several wind farms helped meet the country's goal to power all of their locomotives with the renewable energy on Jan. 1, 2017, Dutch news outlet RTL Z reported.
The Netherlands had been buying renewable energy from neighboring countries in the EU and using gas-powered plants to make up the difference, but the creation of additional wind farms meant it could produce all the energy necessary to power its train system independently.
Dutch train companies, especially industry leader NS, worked with power company Eneco to get the train systems on 75 percent wind power in 2016, and the 100 percent goal was set for 2018, but was met last week, according to Clean Technica.
US efforts to move toward renewable energy have intensified over the last few years, but they still lag far behind many European countries. About 20 million homes can currently be powered by the US’s wind turbines, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Texas, California and Iowa have the largest energy output from wind energy.
And while some of the US’s trains are fully electric, many still have diesel engines that produce electricity to move the train. So there’s still a long way to go to catch up with the Dutch.
Correction: This article originally said all of the trains in the Netherlands run on wind energy. It's actually all of the electric trains in the Netherlands, since some of them still run on fuel. We regret the error.
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