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Swiss startup to equip raillines with solar panels

Words by Tess Becker

We’re really starting to get creative with how we generate power and energy as the effect of climate change start to become more apparent. One place trying its best to utilize space more efficiently to generate power is Switzerland.

Swiss railways are rolling out a project to install solar panels on their railways to generate power and ideally not take up as much space as solar farms usually do, creating a situation where railways are going to have multiple uses. 

Swiss start-up Sun-Ways is installing panels near Buttes train station in the west of the country in May as long as they get the signoff from the Federal Office of Transport. This is among a lot of other projects in the EU, finding creative places to put solar panels like reservoirs, dams, roadsides, and farms. 

But the Sun-Ways system is removable if needed, making it a first of its kind.

“That is the innovation," co-founder Baptiste Danichert tells Swissinfo.

Sun-Ways has big ambitions for its project too, hoping to start rolling it out in other countries too. 

"There are over a million kilometres of railway lines in the world," Danichert tells SWI Swissinfo. “We believe that 50 percent of the world's railways could be equipped with our system.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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