Following the SPOTLIGHT: Scotland, Delivering Decarbonisation, the Practical Steps, Quadrant Transport sits down with Edd Mitchell, Strategic Account Manager at EDF to learn more about their electrification journey in the rail industry.
As Britain’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity, EDF is committed to supporting the rail industry as it looks to electrification and the decarbonisation of the network.
Edd Mitchell explained the importance of this electrification programme, stating: “It’s clear that the UK is not going to hit its net-zero targets if we don’t substantially electrify heat, transport and industry.”
“For rail, the main current route to achieve this is further overhead line electrification. However, with further electrification it is important that the power being consumed is backed by zero-carbon sources,” explained Edd.
“EDF already supplies zero-carbon electricity to support rail traction and being the largest generator of that power in the UK means we are well placed to offer this to the wider rail industry,” he continued.
Edd urged that “understanding the role that each organisation plays in rail decarbonisation is extremely important, as a major proportion of reportable carbon emissions come from the companies that supply goods and services to the rail industry”.
To help the rail sector use energy that comes from sustainable sources, EDF is focusing on this supply chain to encourage the adoption of climate-conscious solutions. “We work with organisations right along their decarbonisation journey, providing products and solutions to deliver carbon reduction and cost savings,” Edd said.
Commitment to rail
“Rail is a key sector to EDF” Edd told Quadrant Transport. The company already works closely with Network Rail and has been supporting their electrification programme since 2014.
We’re making a commitment to our current and prospective customers in the rail sector to help them achieve full decarbonisation of their operations
“Our overarching aim across EDF Group is to build a net-zero energy future. We’re making a commitment to our current and prospective customers in the rail sector to help them achieve full decarbonisation of their operations,” he continued.
Demonstrating their commitment to the rail industry, Edd explained, “We have a range of activities underway with the rail industry, primarily looking into the infrastructure requirements to support further electrification, renewables, battery technology and hydrogen trains.”
“If the UK is going to achieve the Net-zero 2050 vision, we must also ensure that the vital infrastructure that underpins it is resilient, robust, and deployed at a reasonable cost,” said Edd.
He continued: “For example, we see hydrogen technology development as a major part of our activities over the next 10-20 years. Our role is to ensure that when these technologies are rolled out onto the rail track there is the reliable infrastructure to support them.”
Rounding up the interview, Edd told Quadrant Transport: “Our focus is to help the rail industry and its supply chain take the necessary steps to decarbonise, as collaboration is the key to us all achieving our net-zero future.”
Catch the on-demand link of EDF’s SPOTLIGHT event here.
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