07 Jun 2011 12:06:08
Solar panelled tunnel powers European train line
Solar panels have been installed in the roof of a rail tunnel in Europe which will generate electricity to be used by trains travelling between Paris and Amsterdam.
The project, which cost a total of €15.6 million (£13.9 million), involved the fitting of 16,000 solar panels on the tunnel near Antwerp, Belgium, capable of producing 3,300 MW of energy per hour.
Bart Van Renterghem, UK head of Enfinity, which installed the panels, explained: "For train operators, it is the perfect way to cut their carbon footprints because you can use spaces that have no other economic value and the projects can be delivered within a year because they don't attract the protests that wind power does."
However, he went on to say planned projects in the UK have been shelved as a result of government policy, which included a reduction in the Feed-inTariff rates for large-scale solar projects.
Mr Van Renterghem told Sky News the coalition was too concerned about the cost of renewable energy and was therefore missing out on the benefits.
In March, the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced it was cutting financial incentives for solar projects larger than 50kW.