German Railway Using Renewable Electricity

The German Railway (Deutsche Bahn) is Germany’s biggest consumer of electricity. They use about 12 TWh, according to SPIEGEL.

And they are using renewable electricity, since their customers want them to do so.

The latest news is that everybody in a large group of customers will be traveling with 100 percent renewable electricity from April this year. People who are in the “Bahncard” rebate program, people who have a monthly ticket, and people working with companies registered in the corporate rebate program.

Until now, consumers had the option to pay a small extra fare for guaranteed green electricity use. That was nice, but required a new decision for every trip. The new program is automatic.

Deutsche Bahn also offers 100 percent green electricity for corporate costumers that need to transport goods per railway, and has already got business from Audi, the first costumer in this program.

In a brochure about their renewable plans Deutsche Bahn explains that they are already at over 20 percent renewable and want to get to 35% until 2020 and 100% until 2050. They also note that their railway traffic already runs to 90 percent on electricity, while cars will have a long way to go to achieve that rate, so rail is by far the most climate friendly mode of transportation. They also note that they have helped build the world’s first hybrid wind project (with hydrogen storage), which has started production in 2011.

Thanks to this tweet by Atsushi Murakami for the idea of writing on this topic.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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