Shambala festival 2015

Shambala Festival

Success in renewable energy

Over the last five years, Shambala has consistently reduced their fuel dependency by transitioning to renewables and improving on efficiency. In 2013, Shambala was powered by 93% WVO bio-diesel, 1% solar and 6% red diesel – 100% of which was consumed by tower lights. The ambition to be 100% renewable was achieved in 2014 by using biofuel and solar hybrid systems across the site. Onsite biodiesel consumption was reduced by 20% from 2013 to 2014 by using hybrid systems, and there was a 380% kWh increase of renewable energy, which included stages run completely on solar and pedal power.

To assist in reducing the over-specification of generators, Shambala works with their power supplier to gather the power requirements of all end-users. It is also built into their contract that fuel savings are expected year-on-year, with a fixed fee on biofuel costs to create an incentive for the contractor to reduce usage wherever possible. In addition Shambala stipulate detailed energy monitoring throughout the event, a generator-by-generator post event report, and recommendations for future efficiency gains.

In 2015, the set-up included 22 bio-diesel generators, the full range of Firefly’s Cygnus Hybrid Power, 35 portable solar fold-arrays and 10 power packs. All of the site lighting was LED, 12km of festoon lighting and 105 LED Floods; the tower lights were all HPG.

Shambala Festival has reduced its energy-related GHG emissions per audience day by 39.5% between 2013 and 2014, and has reduced its overall onsite carbon footprint by 81% over 5 years. In 2015, energy (including bottled gas for traders) accounted for 19.6% of the onsite carbon footprint and only 8.53% of the overall footprint when including travel.

An analysis of the costs of energy at the festival over seven years shows that budget per person per day for energy has not increased in real terms, representing a saving if inflation and fuel costs rises are accounted for. Whilst the costs of certain items of equipment hire have been higher comparable to traditional diesel generators in some years, the reduction in total equipment requirements and generator sizes — due to efficiency savings — and in fuel use has outweighed these resulting in cost savings overall.

Thanks to Shambala for the information for this case study.