Impact Journalism Day by Sparknews: A better world - No. 47

Harnessing the power of the wind

AMSTERDAM • A company in the Netherlands is trying to make trains that run entirely on wind power by 2018.

The goal is to reduce the damage to the environment caused by train travel, a mode of transportation used by over 1.2 million people every day in the Netherlands.

In order to do so, the firm is going to get the power to run the trains from wind turbines.

Wind turbines work when wind turns their blades, like a windmill, which produces energy, which is then turned into electricity.

But in order to make the trains run, you need a lot of electricity, so the company plans to make enough by using wind turbines that have already been built in the Netherlands and in neighbouring countries, as well as by building new wind turbines.


In the Netherlands, transportation, especially car travel and plane travel, produces 20 per cent of the greenhouse gases in the country which cause global warming.

Renewable energy sources are good for the environment, but the world still makes at least half of its energy from burning coal.

Burning coal releases gases which are harmful to the planet.

But if the Netherlands makes more wind power, its contribution to pollution will be less, and the hope is that other countries will follow its example.

Some countries have already turned to environment-friendly options. In 2011 Belgium built a solar-powered train, which gets its electricity from solar panels on the train tracks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2016, with the headline 'Harnessing the power of the wind'. Print Edition | Subscribe