Posted: 24th September 2019

On World Environment Day this year, Hope Solutions and ZAP Concepts published an independent report highlighting the public health and climate impacts of diesel use at UK events. The report, UK Events and Diesel Use: Responding to a Public Health Emergency, examines the impact of burning diesel in generators for meeting temporary power needs. Importantly, the report shines a light on the scale of the impacts but also makes recommendations for taking a more responsible approach.

The UK event industry uses an estimated 380 million litres of diesel annually, the equivalent to 150 Olympic swimming pools full; and, produces 1.2 million tonnes of CO2e in the process. 8% of all red diesel consumed in the UK is in support of delivering power to events. Exhaust fumes from generators contain major pollutants that contribute to climate change and poor air quality. These include particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), chemical compounds (toxics), carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. These pollutants cause primary pollution as they enter the atmosphere and others generate chemical reactions in which secondary pollution occurs.

In response, we are pleased to be collaborating with members of the supply chain spearheaded by Acorn Events to deliver a low impact power solution to Frieze London and Frieze Masters this year. The solution includes the deployment of our Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) alongside generators running on Green D HVO biofuel. The result is less generator running hours over the course of the event meaning reduced fuel consumption. Couple this with a greatly reduced emissions factor by using HVO biofuel when the generator is running and a much lower impact power solution is achieved.

Our BESS units will be paired with generators from 60kVA up to 150kVA and will deliver significant fuel savings over the course of the event make and break (mobilisation and demobilisation). The headline figures we expect to achieve are as follows:

  • 13,500 litres of fuel saved
  • 109 tonnes of CO2e saved
  • £2,000 net financial saving (after rental costs)

Note: If red diesel were to be instead of HVO biofuel, the net financial saving would be greater (£3,600); however, the CO2e saving would be less at 37 tonnes in comparison.

For transparency, the above figures are based on gensets running at 75% load (peak hours) and replacing 25% load (off-peak hours) over a 5-week period. Widely available manufacturers data has been used for hourly fuel consumption rates at these loads. A price of £0.64/litre has been used for red diesel and £0.76/litre for HVO biofuel. The DEFRA conversion factor of 2.76 kgCO2e/litre is used for red diesel and the value of 0.2936 kgCO2e/litre is used for HVO.

Hope Solutions have been commissioned to conduct independent monitoring and verification of the above solution. Following the event, we aim to share our the findings to demonstrate the ways in which the events sector and others can play a pivotal part in delivering action against the climate and public health emergency we are facing.

Follow the hyperlinks in the above text to navigate to the complete report and websites of those involved.