Electrification of transportation infrastructure in China improves efficiency
Increasing the rail sector’s share in global transport offers major benefits as it is more energy efficient than any other mode of transport. Electrification of railways provides the additional opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, especially in urban areas.
In China, the electrification of railways has proceeded at a remarkable rate over the last 20 years. In 2016, 75% of all rail activity (passenger and freight combined) was on electric trains. This is a more than 3-fold increase compared to 1995 when this figure was only 21%.
In addition, it is technically feasible and environmentally-friendly to power ships when docked in ports and harbours with electricity provided by the grid instead of with their diesel engines. Not only does this make their operation more efficient, but also quieter and less polluting. In China, this has been strongly encouraged through government subsidies, mandatory requirements and pilot demonstrations.
GSEP member State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is contributing to making electrification of ports and harbours a reality. By the end of 2018, SGCC had made power supply available to 100% of the public service areas along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. In 2020, one of the main targets in transport electrification is to provide 100% power supply in the ports and harbours along the Yangtze River.
Finally, in airports, all vehicles and equipment are encouraged to be driven by electricity. In the Beijing Daxing International Airport, 100% of the baggage cars, ferry buses and other vehicles are powered by electricity. And airplanes always get their power supply from the public grid when connected to the jet bridges.
- The Future of Rail - Opportunities for energy and the environment (IEA, 2019)
- The Layout Scheme of Power Supply in Ports and Harbours, Ministry of Transport, China, 2017 (in Chinese)
- 11 Provinces along the Yangtze River Promoting 100% Power Supply in Ports and Harbours (in Chinese)
GSEP members: SGCC,