February 11, 2020
Group to promote economic and environmental benefits of electrifying railway ecosystem
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced the establishment of its Railroad Electrification Council (REC) to promote new electrical applications and to change public policies in the existing railway ecosystem that relies heavily on fossil fuels. The REC will enlist NEMA Members, other organizations, and interested parties that share its goals for rail electrification. Specifically, the Council seeks to create opportunities among relevant companies for greater economic and operational efficiency while lowering emissions and operating costs. The REC will explore the feasibility of utilizing railroad assets to facilitate the development of renewable resources as well as promote greater fuel-source diversity.
"The electrification of many transportation sectors in North America is underway and promises many economic and environmental benefits. Railroads play an important role in this development," said NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff. "Like the electric power industry and other infrastructure networks, railroads will be affected by changing markets and public policies. NEMA will explore how those potential changes can impact the manufacture of electrical products and systems."
"NEMA and its Member companies have devoted months to investigating how to help facilitate the transition to greater use of electricity by critical transportation industries," said NEMA Industry Director for Transportation Systems Division Steve Griffith. "Creating this Council provides a great opportunity to promote rail electrification as a method that provides better energy efficiency, lower emissions, and lower total operating costs than many current alternatives. I encourage railroad companies, renewable energy developers, public utilities and other transmission providers, and manufacturing and technology firms to join REC in this effort in an integral part of the overall transportation sector."
"I am eager to apply my experience in grid modernization and federal energy policy to railroad systems," added Hoecker Energy Law & Policy Founder and Principal Jim Hoecker, who is working with Griffith to establish the REC. "These are two synchronous networks, and we should not underestimate how much railroads can contribute to strengthening the grid, improving the environment, and addressing related challenges. But we need to make a case for change and improvement. NEMA is a great partner in this undertaking."
For more information about how to participate in the REC and its planned 2020 activities, contact Steve Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org.