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Solar rail project shows potential for engineers with PV training

The opening of Europe's first solar-powered rail tunnel could lead to new opportunities for engineers who have completed their PV training.

Belgian renewable energy company Enfinity has topped a two-mile tunnel near Antwerp with 16,000 solar panels, which will be used to generate electricity for the trains that pass underneath and the nearby station.

Situated on the Paris to Amsterdam high-speed rail link, the track covering that houses the panels was originally built to protect train carriages from falling trees.

Bart Van Renterghem, UK head of Enfinity, told the Guardian there is potential for train companies in the UK to give their operations a green boost using solar power.

"It is the perfect way to cut their carbon footprints, because you can use spaces that have no other economic value and the projects can be delivered within a year," he commented.

Such a move would see demand for experts with PV training rise, although the British government has been criticised for reducing the financial incentives available for large solar projects.

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