New sources of renewable energy: Deutsche Bahn secures hydroelectric power from Norway

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Source: Deutsche Bahn, 2021-08-04

Deutsche Bahn is securing the transition to a completely green power supply with the help of new suppliers: Starting in 2023, hydropower from Norway will make the traction current mix in Germany even more sustainable. The Mågeli hydroelectric power plant in southern Norway is set to supply Deutsche Bahn with almost 190 gigawatt hours of green electricity annually for a ten-year period. It is all made possible by the Nordlink North Sea cable, which has provided a direct connection between the Norwegian and German power grids since April. The total volume of renewable power delivered under the contract will be enough to cover the energy needs of the roughly 40,000 trains in Germany every day for around a week. This is DB's first cross-border, long-term green power purchase agreement (or "cross-border PPA" for short). The rail company is partnering with the Norwegian state-owned energy provider Statkraft, based in Oslo. Compared with electricity from coal-fired power stations, the hydroelectric power from Norway will save up to 146,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

DB CEO Richard Lutz: "Deutsche Bahn will be completely climate-neutral by 2040, ten years earlier than previously planned. Our ambitious climate protection plans are outstripping supplies of domestically generated renewable power. That makes this a strategically important contract – for both partners as well as for climate protection."

Two further DB contracts for green electricity in Germany will provide more than 100,000 tonnes of annual CO2 savings and almost four days' worth of sustainable rail traffic network-wide: more than 90 gigawatt hours of hydroelectric power from the Black Forest will be supplied to DB annually over a ten-year period. One of the contracts, which begins in 2023, is with RWE.

Starting next year, wind power from Hohen Pritz in north-eastern Germany will also be added to DB's renewable power portfolio. This second contract is for renewable power from a wind farm that is more than 20 years old and whose state subsidy has expired. The agreement with Ane Energy means that the wind turbines will continue to generate nearly 40 gigawatt hours of green electricity a year.

Renewable energy already covers more than 61% (2014: 42%) of the ten terawatt hours of traction power required by DB each year. This is far higher than the 50% figure achieved in the public grid. By 2038, all DB's traction power will be 100% green. DB has also set an interim target of 80% by 2030. The Group subsidiary DB Energie is fundamentally restructuring its portfolio of contracted power plants and supply contracts so that renewable energy slowly but surely replaces fossil fuels. To this end, DB Energie is creating a mixed portfolio for traction power requirements: the contract periods, energy sources, feed-in regions, partners and pricing are mixed in order to ensure a high level of supply security in the traction power system.

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