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A new study suggests a resourceful stride in Amsterdam’s quest for sustainable public transportation. It reveals that the city’s electric buses could be charged using the existing metro network, thus tackling grid congestion and energy costs concurrently.

Why you need to know this:

Grid congestion is a big problem in the Netherlands. We need smart solutions to overcome this problem. Drawing power from metro lines is one option.

The project is collaboration between Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute), and the public transportation operator GVB. It has been running from September 2022 to March 2024. The study has found that connecting bus chargers to the Amsterdam Noord metro station’s grid could harness 17MWh per day of the metro’s braking energy.

Overcoming energy transition challenges

The electrification of public buses in Amsterdam has faced significant challenges due to grid congestion. The new approach could alleviate grid stress while promoting the use of sustainable energy sources.

A profitable and sustainable solution

The study found that the integration of bus chargers into the metro grid is not only technically viable but also economically beneficial. With a potential of 17MWh per day available from the metro’s braking energy, there’s a substantial untapped resource. Currently, over 75% of this energy is not utilized, indicating a significant opportunity for efficiency improvements. The research underscores the possibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs without disrupting metro operations.

Future research and pilot testing

The success of the project paves the way for additional research into energy storage systems and the integration of alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, into the metro grid. The AMS Institute and GVB are considering a pilot test site at Station Noord to implement direct bus charging. This initiative stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts in exploring and advancing innovative solutions for urban transport challenges.