Coming Soon: A 100 Percent Renewable Commute

By Rob Sargent
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy

We know we can have healthier communities right now and a livable future for kids growing up today. But to get there, we must transform the way we produce and consume energy. That’s got to start with a commitment to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

The daily commute for some 2.2 million Chileans just got greener. Santiago’s Metro system announced plans to become the first subway system powered mostly by solar energy. Running a large transit system on renewable energy is a major breakthrough and an inspiring example for others to replicate.  

Chilean officials announced plans for the partnership with Sunpower and Total on May 23rd. They will be using solar cells in various locations in the area to power the majority of the metro’s energy needs, including lighting and offices, and they also intend to manage the upkeep of the solar program for the metro system. This partnership advances the Santiago Metro system’s overall goal of increasing clean energy and energy efficiency.

In a statement at the ceremony announcing the energy plan, Chilean President Bachelet said that metro users “will also be able to travel in a means of transport that cares for the planet, which reduces our carbon footprint, and makes possible a sustainable future for all.”

Public transportation systems like Santiago’s Metro already save energy and reduce pollution by helping reduce the number of cars on the road. Taking it to the next level by powering the Metro with renewable energy furthers the impact, doing more of what’s necessary to reduce carbon pollution. This announcement shows that commutes powered entirely by renewable energy are within reach.