What is green energy in the railroad

Train travel: On the go with 100 percent green electricity?

Deutsche Bahn is currently promoting around 150 so-called green measures. The common goal: to make the processes around your journey with Deutsche Bahn more environmentally friendly. One green measure, for example, is the mobile phone ticket, which has already saved over 138.5 tons of paper. The trains in DB long-distance traffic also run on 100 percent green electricity. Find out exactly what that means in this article.

How the current of the Deutsche Bahn is composed

The annual electricity consumption of Deutsche Bahn is around ten terawatt hours and roughly corresponds to the electricity consumption of the city of Hamburg. In order to meet this demand, Deutsche Bahn purchases the electricity from various sources. More than 57 percent of the energy requirement is already covered with renewable energies. This makes Deutsche Bahn the largest consumer of green electricity in Germany. The proportion will continue to increase in the coming years. A complete switch to renewable energies takes time. For example, existing contracts will be replaced by "green contracts" after they have expired. Photovoltaics and wind energy will also play a greater role here.

The green electricity is currently supplied by hydropower plants on the Rhine, Moselle, Ruhr, Main, Danube, Lech, Isar, Inn and Edersee lakes. For the green electricity, DB Energie - the energy supplier of Deutsche Bahn - also obtains certificates of origin (HKN) from various sources in Germany and Europe. In order to prove the properties of green electricity, only guarantees of origin that are listed and canceled in the register of proof of origin of the Federal Environment Agency (HKNR) are used.

On the go with 100 percent green electricity

The entire electricity requirement of Deutsche Bahn is made up of various sources of renewable and fossil fuels. How is it possible that DB Fernverkehr trains run on 100 percent green electricity?

Since January 2018, all electrically powered ICE and IC / EC trains have been running on 100 percent green electricity. If you travel in one of these trains, you are traveling with 100 green electricity.

That means: The electricity that is purchased for these trips comes from 100 percent renewable energies. To do this, DB Fernverkehr calculates how much electricity the train service will need and then purchases the corresponding amount of green electricity from DB Energie.

The prerequisite for the use of green electricity is that the route is electrified. In long-distance traffic, more than 98 percent of the trains are already running on electrified routes and are therefore powered by green electricity. Exceptions are, for example, IC traffic to Sylt and Oberstdorf. Diesel vehicles are currently still in use here.

In order to dispense with diesel traffic in the future, further routes will be electrified and intensive work will be carried out on the development of alternative drive technologies. These are, for example, battery trains that are powered by green electricity. These trains could then bridge sections of the route that are not electrified.

Further green measures at Deutsche Bahn

There are many measures to protect the environment and save Co2, especially on the trains themselves or around your trip. For example, you can drink Fairtrade-certified hot drinks such as coffee, tea and drinking chocolate in the on-board restaurants and bistros. In 2018 alone, around 200 tons of coffee were sold in ICE and IC trains - this makes us one of the largest gastronomic providers of fair trade coffee.

You also have the option of using your own reusable cup in our DB on-board restaurants. This saves you waste and money. Because for every hot drink in the reusable cup you bring with you, you will receive a 20 cents discount.

The toilets on the train also make a contribution to the environment, as they are equipped with water-saving technology. In addition, wash your hands with microplastic-free soap.

In order for our trains to reach their proud age of 30 years, they will be redesigned after about 15 years. Compared to a new purchase, this saves resources and is also kind to the environment. The ICE plant in Cologne-Nippes is also climate-friendly. It is the first “green” ICE plant and generates part of the electricity itself through a photovoltaic system. You can take a look behind the scenes here.

In addition, the driving style of the train drivers also determines the energy consumption, similar to driving a car: The 18,000 train drivers at Deutsche Bahn save energy every day by driving skillfully - this saves up to ten percent energy per route.

If you would like more information on our many green measures and projects, just drop by: www.deutschebahn.com/gruen