FRANKFURT German railway operator Deutsche Bahn on Friday said it has signed a long-term deal with utility E.ON for the annual delivery of hydroelectric power from 2015 onwards as it seeks to reach a target of 35 percent of green power by 2020.
The deal entails the delivery of 600 million kilowatt hours per annum, or six percent of the total power needs of the railway, which E.ON will supply from its run-of-river power plants.
The contract is initially valid for six years but includes the possibility to run up to 2028.
"The renewable energy will be used by DB Energie for the further greening of power for the railway service," a joint statement by the two firms said.
Deutsche Bahn is Germany's single biggest electricity consumer with annual requirements around 10 billion kilowatt hours, or two percent of the country's total net power consumption.
It said its current share of renewable power - which is an alternative to that derived from climate-harming fossil fuels such as coal or gas - in its mix was nearly 22 percent.
Deutsche Bahn wants to be entirely free of carbon dioxide-emitting energies by 2050, it said.
It is also considering other measures to offset CO2 emissions from the railway network, which include the possibility to use hydrogen made from wind power.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by William Hardy)