Tokyu railway to be first in Japan to go fully green


Tokyu railway to be first in Japan to go fully green


Japan’s leading railway operator Tokyu Corporation announced on Monday that starting Friday, it will run all its eight lines solely on solar and other renewable energy, making it the first Japanese railway company to do so.

Tokyu runs eight lines in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, totaling around 105 kilometers of rail track. The company announced that it will purchase “non-fossil certificates” for electricity used on all of its lines, effectively reducing the company's carbon dioxide emissions to zero.

Non-fossil certificates, which are launched by the Japanese government in 2018, prove that a specified amount of energy was generated from renewable sources instead of fossil fuel, and they can be acquired by businesses to offset their own carbon emissions.

By purchasing non-fossil certificates, Tokyu’s carbon emissions will be lowered by the amount produced by about 56,000 households per year.

Tokuy started its conversion to green energy three years ago. Since 2019, the Setagaya Line has run on renewable energy generated by hydropower and geothermal power facilities, and the environmentally beneficial program is now being expanded to the remaining seven lines, including Toyoko line and Meguro line.

The increasing costs of electricity procurement will not be passed on to customers, and Tokyu will save energy in various ways to assist absorb the costs, like as by adopting new electricity-efficient train models, according to the operator.

In fiscal year 2022 (from April 2022 to March 2023), Tokyu expects to consume more than 350 million KWh of electricity for its operations. The operator intends to reduce emissions by 46.2% in 2030 compared to 2019 levels, with the goal of achieving near-zero emissions by 2050.

Tokyu’s business segments also include real estate and hotel operations, and its railway sector accounts for around 30% of the company's total yearly carbon emissions.

Efforts to minimize emissions are also being made by other rail operators. Tobu Railway Corporation has recently announced that starting Friday, its special express trains between Tokyo's Asakusa tourist district and Nikko, a resort town in Tochigi Prefecture, will be powered entirely by renewable energy.

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