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Ashton Gate stadium joins Bristol’s solar revolution

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Bristol City V Gloucester City by Libby via Flickr

Solar PV panels designed to reduce the stadium’s carbon emissions by 20% have been installed to Ashton Gate Stadium,

The stadium is home to Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby Club, and has made a promise to deliver a modern, multi-use stadium to make Bristol proud. The solar PV partnership with the council is predicted to save the stadium £150,000 over 20 years on its energy bill, while allowing the council to recuperate the costs of the system and make a small surplus. This is a new model for mutually beneficial renewable energy projects and businesses with large roof spaces or land have the opportunity to benefit.

How does this work?

• Bristol City Council helps determine whether your business has a suitable roof for solar and assesses the electricity use profile.
• The council pays for and project manages the PV installation on your behalf.
• A feed-in tariff is paid to the council for the electricity generated by the system, also receiving payment for any electricity fed back into the grid.
• Your business pays a reduced rate to the council for the electricity used on site from the system.
• Congratulations! Your business saves money on its energy bills, reduces its carbon emissions and increases its green credentials.
• After 20 years, ownership of the solar PV is handed over to you.

Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Place with responsibility for Energy, said: “One of the Mayor’s campaign promises was to put Bristol on course to run entirely on clean energy by 2050. The City Council can’t achieve this by ourselves, so working with partners like Bristol Sport is going to be essential if we’re going to hit our goal.

“Ashton Gate is such an important venue for football and rugby fans in Bristol. Working with Bristol Sport during their amazing transformation of the stadium sends a really strong message that it makes commercial sense for high energy consuming businesses to install renewables onsite, and Bristol City Council can help with that.”

The 117 kW solar PV system consisting of 460 solar panels was supplied and installed on the West Stand of the stadium by Nottinghamshire-based EvoEnergy and is expected to generate 95,090 kWh per year. That is equivalent to powering 23 average energy-use homes for a whole year. Due to the stadium’s size and activities, all of the electricity generated from the rooftop system is expected to be used on site.

James Sutton, Commercial Project Manager at EvoEnergy, commented: “We’re pleased to be supporting Bristol City Council’s campaign to encourage more businesses to choose solar, with the installation of a 460-panel system at Ashton Gate. It’s a great example of how partnerships can work, and complements the other energy efficient measures the stadium has implemented in order to reduce its carbon footprint.”

It’s a great example of how partnerships can work, and complements the other energy efficient measures the stadium has implemented in order to reduce its carbon footprint

The new development also boasts air to air heat recovery, low energy lighting, automatic controls, low water consumption taps and toilets, heat-pumps and a Building Management System all designed to reduce the stadium’s energy usage. Bristol Sport has also developed a full travel plan which includes new bus services and a three-fold provision of bike racks.

Martin Griffiths, chairman of, Bristol Sport, added: “We’ve worked hard to design, build and operate a socially responsible venue for the city. As well as being home to the two largest sports teams in the area, we also host numerous conferences and events every day. The installation of Solar PV helps ensure we’re being environmentally friendly while also cutting down on operating costs.”

Solar panels are also planned for another key venue for the city, the Bristol Arena. The panels will be complimented by connection to Bristol’s new heat network infrastructure, which is creating a more efficient heat supply to central Bristol, further helping to create a low carbon and sustainable venue in line with the city’s ambitious climate and energy targets.

Aerial footage of the solar installation at Ashton Gate Stadium can be seen at https://youtu.be/hPJ24RuT1pY

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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