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Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna enters 2022 with green energy

Railway powered by renewable energy sources? In the Łódzkie Voivodship, this is no longer a plan, but a reality, as a result of the entry into force of a long-term agreement for the supply of traction energy from renewable sources, concluded as part of the Green Railway Programme between Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna and PKP Energetyka. ŁKA is the first carrier in Poland to sign a contract guaranteeing a specific volume of energy supplies coming from RES – in 2022 it will be at least 30%, and already in 2028 – 100%. The agreement is valid for seven years, with the possibility of extension for another three, and its total expected value is over PLN 362 million.

The agreement, which has been in force since the beginning of this year, is the first contract in the Polish railway sector under which a carrier is powered by traction energy produced from the sun and wind. Since 1 January 2022, PKP Energetyka has been supplying Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna with electricity from RES – this year the share of green energy will be at least 30%. According to the provisions of the agreement, it will gradually increase in the following years – by a minimum of 10% each year. In 2024, it will be at least 50%, in 2026 – 70%, and already in 2028 ŁKA’s electric trains will run exclusively on energy from renewable sources.

“We are very pleased that climate-neutral, RES-based railway transport is becoming a reality in our region, as the first one in Poland. This is another important step in the development of rail transport in the Łódzkie Voivodship, apart from investments in rolling stock and consistent expansion of the network. We act innovatively and with care for the environment, and this is appreciated by passengers, who year after year are more and more willing to use the offer of ŁKA”, comments Grzegorz Schreiber, Marshal of the Łódzkie Voivodship.

The agreement between ŁKA and PKP Energetyka, which has been in force since the beginning of the year, is a real milestone in the implementation of the Green Railway Programme, which envisages the transition of all railway transport in Poland to traction energy from solar and wind power plants. It aims to achieve a RES share of 50% in 2025, 85% in 2030, and ultimately 100%. The programme is implemented by PKP Energetyka as part of the Center for Railway Energy Efficiency (CEEK) – an industry initiative aimed at optimising electricity consumption in rail transport in Poland.

“Railway shows that it is a forerunner in decarbonising transportation based on RES. We would like to thank our partners from ŁKA for their openness and consistency in introducing real, pro-environmental changes in the Polish railway sector. The supply of green energy will enable completely climate-neutral transport, which will undoubtedly make rail more attractive to passengers”, says Wojciech Orzech, President of PKP Energetyka.

“We are the first railway operator in Poland to sign an agreement for the supply of traction energy from RES, thus taking part in the implementation of the sectoral Green Railway Programme. This is an expression of our concern for the environment – we want to use energy as efficiently as possible and protect the climate. This is perfectly in line with other developmental activities of ŁKA, such as launching new routes, concluding a contract for the delivery of hybrid rolling stock, successful integration of railway and bus services, and plans to invest in photovoltaics”, emphasises Janusz Malinowski, President of Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna.

ŁKA also already uses other mechanisms that increase the energy efficiency of its transport operations. The introduction of recuperation and eco-driving has reduced the company’s average annual traction energy consumption by as much as a quarter.

Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna and PKP Energetyka are actively working within CEEK to build environmentally friendly railways. The Center is implementing a series of energy efficiency measures with the aim to reduce the sector’s energy consumption by 1.2 TWh and reduce CO2 emissions by 1 million tonnes by 2030. The Green Rail Programme is CEEK’s flagship project, which will ensure that 2.5 TWh of rail traction energy (85% of total consumption) will come from RES by 2030. This will translate into a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 8 million tonnes. CEEK also promotes the development of recuperation technologies, eco-driving and the use of photovoltaic installations on railway premises and facilities.

Last modified: 1/18/2022