German Government Releases Funds to Increase Energy Efficiency in Rail

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in Germany has launched a new programme to support energy efficiency in rail.

Starting on 9 August it will invest up to 500 million euros in rail companies over five years if they improve their efficiency in their electricity use, thereby lowering their emissions.

This money will come from the federal government’s special ‘Energy and Climate Fund’. The programme is set to run until the end of 2023. The ministry believes that up to one million tons of carbon emissions can be saved with this programme.

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Federal Transportation Minister and Governmental Commissioner for Rail, Enak Ferlemann, said:

“Our new support programme is a further step towards strengthening environmentally friendly low-emission rail transport in competition with other transport providers, which will allow us to reach the government’s climate protection goals. That’s good for the environment and for mobility in Germany.”

This financial assistance for companies is contingent on them reaching annual percentage targets in improving their energy efficiency in their traction electricity use compared to the previous year (by 1.75 percent until 2020, then by 2 percent each year). There are several ways companies could go about achieving this. They could:

  • Invest in more energy-efficient rolling stock such as bi-mode locomotives
  • Take measures towards automation and / or digitisation
  • Improve their degree of capacity utilisation both in freight and passenger rail
  • Avoid empty trips
  • Make improvements to regenerative braking

The new guideline is available on the ministry’s website here.

 

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