Diversifying energy sources and developing soft mobility

The ecological transition has become a global emergency. Given its presence in city centres, RATP Group is exploring various ways to diversify its energy mix.

The Group’s energy efficiency plan includes investments to develop renewable energy sources and energy recovery.

In terms of renewable energy sources, RATP buses in the Île-de-France region already run exclusively on biomethane. The company has set a goal to make renewable energy sources account for 10% of its electricity supply mix by 2025.

  • Since 2021, RATP has entered a contract to purchase 100% wind-generated electricity from EDF, with the aim of covering 4% of its consumption over three years.
  • In 2022, RATP entered a partnership with Urbasolar, which will supply it with solar electricity over the next fifteen years. The goal is to produce 65 GWh of electricity, while avoiding the release of 1,600 tCO2e into the atmosphere.

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Opting for wind energy with EDF

By joining forces, RATP Group and EDF are doing their part to develop the CO2-neutral energy sources of the future, while also contributing to better city living. At the end of the three-year electricity supply contract (2021-2023) signed between RATP Group and EDF, the energy company will have supplied 170 GWh of renewable electricity, which is generated by 5 wind farms spread out across the region. 170 GWh represents close to 4% of RATP’s electricity consumption, or the equivalent of the energy required to power 7 tram lines.

Urbasolar, a virtuous cycle

The Urbasolar-RATP Group partnership, under which Urbasolar supplies the Group with low-carbon electricity, operates on the basis of additionality. The Group’s commitment to purchase low-carbon electricity over a 21-year period provides funding for the construction of solar farms that will produce that electricity. Over a year, the 55 hectares of solar farms spread out across the region will produce approximately 65 GWh of electricity. At the same time, they will avoid releasing 1,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) into the atmosphere

Bus 2025 project

The largest bus fleet conversion operation in Europe

Through the Bus2025 programme, since 2015, the Group has committed to the large-scale conversion of its bus fleet to electricity and biomethane by 2025. Bus2025 benefits from the support of Île-de-France Mobilités, the European Commission and banking group Banque des Territoires de la Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation.

As part of the urban mobility plan in the Île-de-France region, Bus2025 aims to halve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from bus operations by 2025. The amount of emissions avoided represents 250,000 tCO2 (2015 reference). The programme is the first lever that RATP will rely on to reduce CO2 emissions, in line with its commitment to provide more sustainable public transport.

Bus depots will be converted along with bus fleets. Out of the 25 sites involved, 6 have already been converted to biomethane (Créteil, Massy, Bussy, Thiais, Nanterre and Pavillons) and 6 others have been converted to electricity (Lagny, Corentin, Lilas, Pleyel, Lebrun and Malakoff). Works are ongoing at 12 other sites. The construction of a new biomethane bus depot in Villiers-le-Bel is set to begin at the end of 2023.

Key figures

+ 1,500 electric and biomethane buses operated in the Île-de-France region
25 bus depots involved in the energy transition
+ 1,000 electric buses operated globally by the Group

Inventing the bus depot of the future

As part of the energy transition works, RATP Group has been developing innovative solutions to prepare for the bus depot of the future.

Three energy transition projects have led to the development of several mixed-use programmes that combine residential and commercial use, equipment maintenance and transport in one space.

Building modification works are part of an eco-design approach that promotes energy savings and the use of more sustainable materials. The approach also aims to improve our sites’ environmental efficiency (greenery, heat islands, biodiversity and more).

Since 2022, the Group has been implementing an innovation project that enables smart charging on electric buses. Trials are now being conducted at several bus depots. These trials make it possible to modularly manage bus charging over time slots that consume less energy and generate less carbon dioxide.The installation of solar panels is currently being considered. Plans are already under way to install a 2,000-m2 solar panel array at the Belliard site.

Hydrogen, another diverse energy source

RATP Infrastructures is currently trialling a hydrogen-powered generator to complete night-time works on metro line 6. Some of the obvious benefits for residents include reduced noise and environmental pollution. A feasibility study is being conducted to assess the risks, costs and efficiency of using hydrogen power.

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  • In 2021, RATP Group operated its first hydrogen-powered buses in La Roche-sur-Yon. Similar buses are in the process of being deployed in Lorient. With hydrogen, which is produced locally using 100% renewable energy from wind turbines, vehicles emit mainly water. As a result, the green fuel reduces the carbon footprint of the Group’s vehicle fleets. This unprecedented pilot project relies on an ecosystem that produces 100% local energy, and synergises contributions from all local stakeholders. In addition to the La Roche-sur-Yon urban area, Syndicat d’Énergie de la Vendée (Vendée region energy union) and start-up Lhyfe contributed to the project. Lhyfe inaugurated its first hydrogen production plant as part of the pilot.
  • Other hydrogen power projects are under way with Île-de-France Mobilités: trials to operate an entire bus route with hydrogen power from the Créteil bus depot in 2024. Hydrogen buses may also be operated from a site in Bagneux.

Inventing the bus depot of the future

Bus depots will be converted along with bus fleets.

Out of the 25 sites involved, 5 bus depots (Créteil, Massy, Bussy, Thiais and Nanterre) have already been fully or partially converted to biogas, and 3 others (Lagny, Corentin and Lilas) have been converted to electricity. The Pleyel, Lebrun and Malakoff bus depots will soon be powered by electricity as well. Works are ongoing at 12 other sites.

The conversion of the various sites uses a diverse mix of energy sources: solar panels are in the process of being installed at 4 bus depots, to trial this method of capturing energy in real operating conditions.

As part of its commitment to protecting biodiversity, RATP has launched a systematic survey of its real estate properties in the Île-de-France region, to examine the possibility of integrating green or cultivated areas alongside existing green spaces. In all property projects, a strategy has been implemented to meet the environmental and social challenges that future buildings entail. In order to give biodiversity more consideration in its projects, and to identify avenues for progress, RATP Real Estate has commissioned ecologists to conduct forward-looking studies.

Widening the reach of soft mobility

In addition to its transport networks (buses, metros, RER and trams), the Group has been collaborating with start-ups to develop bike rental and bike sharing solutions, to offer passengers smooth journeys from beginning to end.

By being included as closely as possible in transport networks, these new forms of mobility contribute to inter-modal travel. For this reason, more bike sheds are being built into the public transport network. The Group is also involved in developing the technology behind smart and connected car parks.

Anticipating the effects of climate change

Since 2019, RATP has been preparing a climate change adaptation plan that relies on risk exposure analyses and benchmarks, in order to identify best practices.

RATP has notably implemented increased monitoring across its network during extreme hot weather, as well as a flood risk protection plan. The plan aims to preserve facilities (equipment and infrastructure) and make it possible to resume operations quickly after a flood.

RATP also anticipates the effects of climate change, by factoring them into the design of new infrastructures (buildings and rail infrastructure) and when the company renews facilities.