October 2, 2022

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Statkraft will electrify German trains – NRK Norway – An overview of news from across the country

In an earlier version of the article, NRK wrote that “Norwegian hydropower will power German trains”, but according to Statkraft, this is incorrect.

Last year, Statkraft entered into an agreement with Deutsche Bahn to deliver 190 gigawatts of electricity to the German rail company. The agreement is valid for 10 years starting in 2023.

In a press release last year, Deutsche Bahn wrote that the power comes from the Magelle hydroelectric plant in Hardanger. But the strength does not come from here, says the press contact at Knut Fjerdingstad.

– These are guarantees of origin, which are very common in European countries. Physically speaking, the electricity doesn’t exactly come from this power plant. But when we buy energy for them, we guarantee that it comes from renewable energy production, says Statkraft’s press contact, Knut Fjerdingstad.

Does not affect energy balance

According to Statkraft, the agreement does not affect the balance of power in Norway.

We have purchased energy for the Deutsche Bahn which we guarantee is renewable. But the physical electrons come from its closest power station, says Fjerdingstad.

– But why would the DB write that the electricity would come from a particular power plant in Hardanger, if that wasn’t true?

– I really don’t know it, and I can understand very well that it’s puzzling, says Knut Vegerdingstad.

According to Deutsche Bahn, it is the Nordlink international cable between Germany and Norway that makes it possible for the German train company to purchase this renewable electricity. The cable went live in April of last year.

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– Reduces emissions

Starting next year, these trains can run on Hardanger’s hydroelectric power. The number of passengers of DB trains reached 4.8 billion in 2019.

Photo: Mario Vider/AFP

Deutsche Bahn is concerned that renewable electricity means it reduces emissions of 146,000 tons of Co₂ annually compared to using coal power.

The German transport company now gets 61 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. The goal is that 100 percent of the electricity to power trains is renewable by 2038.

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