New research: 50% reduction GHG emissions possible

New Research from the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, De Montfort University, suggests that a 50% reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and significant fuel savings are possible at most UK festivals without compromising production values or the bottom line.

The research, part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Midas UK, a leading Biodiesel power supplier,  studied power systems at many events in 2013, examining how power was managed and identifying opportunities for efficiency gains.  Combined with previous research, they have now analysed over 200 profiles from monitoring different systems at UK events. The summary of results, presented to the Powerful Thinking steering group on 21st January, included detailed load profiles and breakdowns of power consumption onsite, and pointed to hybrid technology and smart grids being the future of energy management onsite.

Average power consumption by type at UK Festivals 

Source: Paul Flemming, DeMontfort University (2013)

The summary of findings confirms earlier research, suggesting several key ways to reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption, and further builds the case for opportunities. However, this is the first time there has been enough data to suggest that a 50% reduction in GHG’s is possible whilst saving costs at the same time.

The key opportunities they identify are;

  1. Specifying energy efficient equipment, such as LED lighting, and switch mode amplifiers.
  2. Switching off when not in use – surprisingly uncommon at events.
  3. Using batteries for storage (hybrid systems), for low level requirements and overnight base-loads.
  4. Sizing generators more effectively. The data shows that many generators are oversized. The profiles should allow for more accurate sizing in the future.
  5. Switching fuel. Once all the above have been done, then operators could consider fuel switching to incorporate renewable energy (PV, wind or biodiesel).

Further research will focus on the role of hybrid systems and smart grids in delivering fuel and GHG reductions, improving operational safety and real-time management of festival power. DeMontfort are currently developing an 3 year industry KTP to explore the opportunities with industry.

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