We are the main consumer of renewable electricity in Spain

In 2019 we bought 2.5 Twh of green electric power (with Certificates of Origin Guarantee), for the traction energy of all our electric vehicles, which is 80% of our traffic. This has made Renfe the top end consumer of renewable energy in Spain (with more than 2.6% of the total electrical renewable energy consumed in our country) and will make it possible to reduce CO2 by more than 7 million tons in the entire rail network on which we operate by 2030.

We're looking for alternative energies

Some of our trains consume diesel fuel (around 20% of our traffic). We are looking for an alternative, working on its progressive replacement with cleaner energies (Liquefied Natural Gas), or free of local pollution and greenhouse effect (hydrogen stack).

In addition to our trains, we promote the purchase of "green" energy and the production of renewable energies in our facilities.

Renewable Energy Promotion Programme

Renewable electricity generation is between 35 and 45%, depending on the year, so having a portion of that quota for rail use would put the railway at 73.6% of total decarbonisation.


Trains with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)


  • We have been working on projects for years to turn Liquefied Natural Gas into an alternative traction fuel for our trains. 
  • As a result, in January 2018 we launched the first global experience of an LNG-powered passenger train, with the transformation of a 2600 series metric gauge train that already runs (in testing/prototype phase) on the Caudal-Aller/Figaredo line.
  • From the tests carried out so far, it has been deduced that while maintaining speeds similar to those of diesel vehicles, emissions are reduced by 45% (kgCO2/km), with the €/km cost being 25% lower. 
  • Based on this experience, we are looking at the desirability of putting into service a 100 percent Liquefied Natural Gas Line, which is currently one hundred percent diesel, in what would be the first line in Europe that would implement the energy transition from diesel to LNG.




  • Hydrogen (H2) has the ideal characteristics to replace the fossil fuels used today due to its very high calorific power, its abundance on land, zero local pollution, and attaining zero emissions, in some forms of generation, implied by its use.
  • From 2009 to 2011, we piloted a pioneering project in the world of a rail/tram vehicle with a traction system based on hydrogen fuel cell, batteries and supercondensors. 
  • In the new Train Purchase Plan we have included Hydrogen as one of the most versatile options for hybridating rail traction.
  • These are technical carriages included within the different branches, making it possible to complement the main traction in electric mode with other energies.


We work for energy efficiency

Efficient driving is a top priority in the daily activity of our 5,200 drivers, with up to a 30% saving in consumption.
The use of regenerative braking, an energy generating technology by which the motor, when braking, enables some trains to return from 6% to 10% of the energy employed on Alta Velocidad lines, and up to 40% on Cercanías trains, to the grid.

The other key is the trains. The fleet was renewed prioritising the maximisation of performance with minimal energy consumption. Trains incorporate efficient driving systems integrated into automatic driving modes.


New, more efficient trains

Trains and circular economy


  • Our railway vehicles have always been noted for their long life (up to 40 years), and because 98% of materials used in their construction can be recycled.
  • The manufacturing process for railway vehicles used by our suppliers, in addition to their maintenance, is carried out in the most sustainable manner possible, seeking to reduce the use of energy and materials in the manufacturing process and throughout the long life cycle of the vehicles themselves.
  • The vehicles are therefore built to be long-lasting and easily reparable, in order to increase the lifespan of the train under the best technical, safety and comfort conditions.


Air conditioning, insulation and lighting


  • The trains that will soon be incorporated into our fleet will have Intelligent Management Systems for the renewal air flows, thus consuming half the energy.
  • They also envisage the use of new GWP "global warning potential" coolant fluids, suitable for rail use, and environmentally friendly, getting ahead of compliance with Regulation (EU) No. 517/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases.
  • Train windows have specific treatments and solar control sheets, minimising the impact of heat waves inside the train.
  • The outer coating of the trains is white and with a heatproof treatment, reducing heat transmission to the inside to a minimum.
  • In addition, trains will incorporate adjustable and intelligent LED interior lighting, with predicted energy savings of more than 75% in these systems.

The advantages in terms of the environmental sustainability of rail travel in fighting climate change may be even greater, which is why Renfe has teamed up with Adif and Adif Alta Velocidad to promote the Master Plan to combat Climate Change. This plan is structured in 4 strategic lines: energy management, energy efficiency, decarbonisation and culture. We can summarise this in one huge commitment: reduce 9.9 million tonnes of Co2 by 2030 and save more than 250 million euros in external costs.