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California Zero Emissions Train System

The bright folks out on the west coast have come up with miraculous new way to run the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the state’s proposed high-speed train system, run with zero greenhouse gas emissions. This is fantastic news for rail travelers, not only in the Golden State of California, but any place rail travel is or may become available. If they can make environmental impact of travel 0%, I’m sure heaps of travelers would opt for rail rather than global-warming, smog-inducing, fossil-fuel-burning airline travel. The zero emissions strategy in question was presented by company called Navigant Consulting Inc, that acted as a consultant on the energy, electric power and natural gas industries at the Rail Authority’s most recent board meeting held in San Diego (my favorite California city by the way).

How is this going to work? The train system is expected to use 3,380 Gigawatt hours of energy per year to transport 94 million passengers by 2030. Navigant found that generating the amount of energy to complete such a task using renewable sources is “well within the capabilities of the state.” The amount of necessary energy is a teensy 1% of the state’s electrical usage, or, according to the press release, only about three and a half days worth of electricity consumed throughout the state. That’s all?!

“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.

If you’re dying to know more about the zero emissions strategy, check out (“The Use of Renewable Energy Sources to Provide Power to California High-Speed Rail.”)