A prominent Japanese railway currently runs solely on renewable energy sources

The Scramble Crossing situated in Shibuya, Tokyo, is famed for crowds of people crisscrossing the crossroads, symbolizing urban Japan’s traffic and anonymity. It’s probable that another boasting right has been introduced.

Tokyu Railways‘ trains have been powered solely by solar as well as other renewable energy sources via Shibuya and other stations since April 1.

Because green energy is used at all of Tokyu’s stops, comprising security camera displays, vending machines, and lights, the city’s vast network of seven train lines and one tram service currently emits zero carbon dioxide.

Tokyu is Japan’s first railway operator to achieve that goal, employing 3,855 people and connecting Tokyo and Yokohama. According to the analysis, the decrease in carbon dioxide is equivalent to the annual average greenhouse emissions of 56,000 Japanese families.

Nicholas Little, who is the railway education director at the Michigan State University’s Center for Railway Research and Education, praised Tokyu for its support of renewable energy but underlined the need to increase the quantity of renewable energy used at the bottom line.

“I would highlight that increasing renewable energy output has the biggest effect,” he remarked. “The long-term issue is to increase renewable energy generation while also constructing the transmission infrastructure to deliver it to customers.”

Tokyu’s trains use some of the most eco-friendly rail technology on the market. The other two options are batteries and hydrogen power.

Is this just a marketing stunt, or is Tokyu on the correct track?

As per Ryo Takagi, who works as a professor based at Kogakuin University and expert in the electric railway systems, the answer isn’t simple because train technology evolves through time and is influenced by a range of uncontrollable societal factors.

In a word, Tokyu’s efforts aren’t unsuccessful, and they’re probably better than doing nothing. They show that the company is up to the duty of promoting renewable energy, according to him.

Takagi stated, “However, I’m not about to get out of my way to praise it.”

In rural areas, he asserted, switching from diesel trains to the hydrogen-powered lines, as well as shifting from gas-guzzling vehicles to electric vehicles, would give bigger benefits.

Notwithstanding Japan’s sustained use of coal as well as other fossil fuels, Tokyu paid an unspecified amount to Tokyo Electric Power Co., which was liable for the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in 2011.

Assistant Manager Yoshimasa Kitano, who works at Tokyu’s offices, which are a short walk from the Scramble Crossing, commented, “We don’t regard this as fulfilling our goal, but rather as a beginning.”

If Japan, the globe’s 6th-largest carbon emitter, is to attain its 2050 carbon-neutral goal, such measures are crucial.

Only about 20% of Japan’s energy comes from renewable sources, according to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, a Tokyo-based non-profit research organization. In comparison, renewable energy sources contribute approximately 84 percent of the overall consumption in New Zealand. New Zealand hopes to meet this target by 2035.

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