Image credit - Osmar Valdebenito

Image credit – Osmar Valdebenito

One of the ways we can help protect our environment is by taking public transport which ultimately means that there would be less cars on the road. Imagine a bus that fits 50 passengers, all of whom could have easily been driving a car each. Now just because public transport is potentially greener doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved upon.

In fact over in Chile, the city of Santiago could soon be the first city in the world to have a subway system powered by solar energy. Now we know it sounds almost counter-intuitive. How does a subway, which is underground, gain access to solar energy? Turns out the energy will be coming from a solar installation hundreds of miles away, along with energy from a wind farm in San Juan.

To be more specific, the subway will be able to get up to 60% of its energy from the solar installations and 18% from the wind farm. Granted it’s still not 100% green, but we reckon that this comes pretty close and is a good example to set for the rest of the world. It helps that Chile is particularly sunny which means that placing a solar installation in the Atacama Desert makes sense.

According to Tom Werner, the CEO of SunPower who will be designing and building the system, “Metros are energy intensive, and of course in the urban areas where you have metros, the air quality is something that’s very visible and people are very aware of, so they’re motivated to go renewable. The value’s gotten so good they can save money. I think this is the beginning of a widespread trend.”

Filed in Green >Transportation. Read more about Solar.

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