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Solar energy on track to power London rail link by 2022

(Reuters, 23 Nov 2020) Social enterprise aims to power some commuter trains with solar energy, with government backing, as Britain aims for net-zero emissions.

Solar power will be used on a major railway line into London from early 2022, the company behind the project said on Monday, as Britain aims for net-zero emissions within three decades.

Riding Sunbeams, a social enterprise, said it would use a 2.5-million pound ($3.34-million) government grant to build a community-owned solar farm to help power trains on the line that links the capital with the southern seaside town of Eastbourne.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to show the UK rail sector that commercial innovation can help power us all to the zero carbon future we need," Executive Director Ollie Pendered said in a statement.

The project is a partnership with Network Rail, which operates and develops Britain's railway infrastructure and is the country's biggest single electricity user.

Renewable energy is already used to power some of the country's railways, and Network Rail estimates that solar could provide 10% of the energy needed to run its trains, mostly on tracks in southeast England.

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Reuters, 23 Nov 2020: Solar energy on track to power London rail link by 2022