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09/15/2008 09:14 AM     print story email story  

California High-Speed Train Adopts Zero Emissions Strategy

SustainableBusiness.com News

A leading energy specialist has reported to the California High-Speed Rail Authority that the state's proposed high-speed train system can run with zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The zero emissions strategy report was presented by Navigant Consulting Inc, a consultant on the energy, electric power and natural gas industries at the Authority's most recent board meeting held in San Diego. At the meeting, the Board adopted a renewable energy/zero emissions strategy for the high-speed train project.

Researchers noted that the train system is expected to use 3,380 gigawatt (GW) hours a year of energy to transport 94 million passengers by 2030. According to their findings, generating this amount of energy from renewable sources is "well within the capabilities of the state." This amount represents one percent of the state's electrical load, or about three and a half days worth of electricity consumed throughout the state.

"Integrating renewable energy into the high-speed train project would be neither cost- nor resource- prohibitive and would be well in line with the more sustainable future that California is trying to ensure for itself. The benefits in this regard are clear and, with several avenues to ‘green' the train, the CHSRA could achieve the goal of low-cost, efficient and clean travel," according to the Navigant report.

"We've always known that electric high-speed trains represent a tremendous opportunity to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals by removing cars from the road and by slowing demand for additional air travel," said Judge Quentin L. Kopp, Chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority. "But today, we welcome the news that this train is even greener, in that it can be powered with none of the emissions that cause global warming."

In Related News...

Mayors of the three largest cities in Bay Area agreed to work together to push for smart development around rthe state's rail lines and to expand employment in solar energy and green technology, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

The mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose met at the Clean and Green conference, hosted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and announced that they would push for local laws to get residents out of cars and onto public transit, and encourage development near transit hubs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.



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