French Railways Adopting Solar

Article posted

31st Aug 2023

Read time

3-6 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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In a groundbreaking move towards sustainability, French railway company, SNCF, has announced the establishment of a new subsidiary. This innovative venture will involve the installation of solar panels on vacant railway land. The objective is to transform these idle spaces into productive energy-generating sites, ultimately fulfilling between 15% to 20% of SNCF’s total energy consumption by the year 2030. This initiative marks a significant stride in SNCF’s commitment to renewable energy and a greener future.

SNCF, one of the largest landowners in France, has a substantial footprint for its operations. With over 15,000 trains in action daily, the company consumes a significant amount of electricity. This energy demand, coupled with its extensive land assets, makes SNCF uniquely positioned to leverage solar energy at an impressive scale. By transforming idle lands into solar farms, the company not only utilizes its resources efficiently but also substantially reduces its dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

Expanding on its current initiatives, SNCF will need to strategize on how best to utilize its land to further reduce electricity usage and spending as it seeks to double traffic by 2040. One potential approach could be to increase the density of solar panels installed on each site, maximizing energy output per square meter. Additionally, SNCF could consider other forms of renewable energy that can be harnessed on railway lands, such as wind or geothermal energy. Partnerships with leading renewable energy companies could also provide innovative solutions and equipment to boost energy generation efficiency. These strategic moves will not only contribute to the reduction of operational costs but also ensure the company's growth does not come at the expense of the environment.

In an inspiring extension of their solar initiative, SNCF is not limiting their renewable energy pursuits to vacant lands alone. The company has already commenced the installation of solar panels in their car parks and on the roofs of stations. This multi-faceted approach ensures that even the busiest operational areas contribute to energy generation. By creatively repurposing these spaces, SNCF optimizes every available opportunity to harness renewable energy, further underscoring their dedication to environmental sustainability. This innovative use of infrastructure not only elevates SNCF's ecological responsibility but also sets a precedent for other large-scale companies to emulate in their quest for a sustainable future.

SNCF is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Using their 2015 levels as a benchmark, they want to reduce greenhouse gasses from train operations by 30% and those from buildings by 50% by 2030. By actively pursuing renewable energy sources, such as solar power, SNCF is taking the necessary steps to meet its sustainability objectives. The potential of solar energy for railways is immense and a shining example of the kind of innovation needed to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources. Hopefully, with this initiative and others like it, we will soon witness a true Solar Revolution

Solar power isn't just for railway companies; it presents an array of benefits for businesses across various sectors. Adopting solar energy can drastically reduce operational costs by offsetting electricity bills. Moreover, it helps businesses project a green image, aligning with the growing consumer demand for environmentally responsible products and services. Solar panels can be installed on rooftops, over parking lots, or any vacant land, making it a versatile solution for diverse business infrastructures. Furthermore, tax credits and incentives are prevalent in many regions, making the initial investment in solar power more affordable. Embrace the power of the sun, and let your business be a part of the crucial transition towards a sustainable world.

If you're ready to improve your energy efficiency whilst driving down energy bills then why not get in touch? With our carbon management plans we will give your business everything it needs to reduce consumption and maximise on savings. . Request a free quote now and start reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills today.