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Monday, 23 February 2015

Green energy at summer festivals

Summer seems a long way off, but preparations are already well under way...

The Glastonbury Festival has made efforts to clean up its act - beyond the plastic:

Worthy Farm features the largest privately owned solar photovoltaic array in the UK, with 1,500 square metres of solar panels with a capacity of 200kW. Solar and wind power areas around the site including caf├ęs, stalls and stages.

How green is Glastonbury? Top 10 sustainability facts...

This is better than a couple of  years ago:

The Croissant Neuf Summer Party in Wales runs entirely on power from renewable sources, but larger festivals struggle to generate enough electricity to power themselves in this way.

The 1,500-acre Glastonbury site effectively turns into a small city at festival time, with more than 200 diesel-powered generators hauled into place to make sure bands can play, food and drink suppliers can operate and the place is lit up at night.

In 2010, Glastonbury installed 1,500 square metres of solar panels, expected to generate 200 kW, enough electricity to power the equivalent of 40 homes annually. The festival uses electric golf buggies and bikes to move staff around and biodiesel where possible but the main stages still need huge generators. A study this year aims to work out how fossil fuel use can be minimised by using “hybrid” generators that run at least some of the time on renewables.


Glastonbury 2013: How green is going to a festival? - Telegraph

From their own website:

WE’RE TAKING ENERGY DIRECTLY FROM THE SUN TO THE STAGE. We’ve introduced solar power and green technology to the Theatre & Circus and Shangri-la areas. All of the cafes, stalls and stages above the old railway line in the Green Fields are powered by the sun or wind; there are no diesel generators. Even the showers are solar powered.

WE’RE INSTALLING EVEN MORE SOLAR PANELS. We are really excited to be installing the largest privately owned solar PV array in the UK. The 1,500 square metres of solar panels will sit on top of the cattle shed that is home to the 350 Worthy Farm cows. On a clear, sunny day, the panels are expected to generate around 200kW of power – around the same amount of power used annually by 40 homes. Any power that isn’t used on the farm will be exported to the National Grid. Work will begin to install the panels on August 1, as long as planning permission is granted and surveys confirm that the barn roof is strong enough to hold the panels.


Things we do to reduce our impact on the environment | Glastonbury Festival

Meanwhile, on the Continent, there seem to be better attempts at using “hybrid” generators:

New generator provides festival stage with sustainable energy - Bredenoord Aggregaten BV
Bredenoord Esaver op Taubertal Festival 2013 - YouTube

There is a specific organisation for greening energy at festivals:
Sounds For Nature Foundation e.V. - Bonn - Gemeinn├╝tzige Organisation | Facebook
Sounds For Nature

And last year, an event in Bonn looked at the whole notion of 'green events':



Green Events Europe: GreenEvents Europe

In the UK, the Green Festival Alliance is making some headway:



A Greener Festival – Green Festival Alliance to talk power savings and efficiencies at Event Production Show
The Power Behind Festivals: a guide to sustainable power at outdoor events – Green Festival Alliance (2012) |

And there are some clever schemes about:
Music Festivals Using Renewable Energy to Offset Energy Consumption - Keep My Planet Green

With a guide to the 'most green' UK festivals:
2014 guide to the UK's top sustainable and green festivals - Blue and Green Tomorrow

Although some would still disagree...
Trashed: Music Festivals Are Environmental Disasters - Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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