‘Festival season’ is upon us. Music festivals such as Glastonbury, Download and Creamfields provide ample opportunity for music lovers to enjoy the great outdoors while listening to their favourite artists, and others like food, film and vintage festivals occupy our Summer months. Outdoor festivals rely heavily on portable energy to power event equipment including stage power, outdoor lighting, performer trailers, manager offices, and catering units.

To save on festival fuel costs, using sustainable energy sources can reduce the workload of generators and reduce overall cost of operations. It’s estimated that festivals in the UK produce a carbon footprint of nearly 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year [1] due to the use of fossil fuels. The environmental impact of festivals can be reduced when sustainable energy choices are made to limit fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

How to Make Festivals Eco Friendly

Harnessing the power of solar energy at festivals can help make significant savings on fuel costs, as well as meeting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requirements. Solar panels have a low impact on the environment and can produce enough energy to power stage or cooking equipment. Portable solar panels are efficient because they are easy to set up as festival locations change. Festival-goers are a community that tends to appreciate living off-the-grid and supports the green energy initiatives.

Since power is one of the largest costs when producing a festival, it doesn’t take much to consider how much energy and fuel is wasted by generators that are running non-stop but are not loaded to full capacity. Significant savings are realised by using solar power panels and solar generators that can deliver energy even when weather conditions are not ideal. Instead of constantly consuming fuel by running a diesel generator when power demands are extremely low, a solar-powered generator will store that excess, unused power until it is needed.

Dependable Hybrid Power Systems

To put the UK festival scene into perspective, music festivals alone attract 3.17 million of us each year. When you consider that 0.6 litres of fuel is used each day for each person (including travel to and from the event), engaging attendees with information on smart fuel choices can promote movement to sustainable energy usage. Maybe a festival-goer is already considering a hybrid-powered vehicle for personal use.

Hybrid power generators use a combination of technologies which may include solar, wind, diesel, batteries, and main grid electrical power to produce a sufficient amount of energy that has lower emissions and can reduce fuel consumption by 40% [2]. These renewable energy systems can be used as a primary power supply when used in conjunction with solar panels or a wind turbine. Hybrid power generators can also be used to manage base load power requirements – so that diesel generators are only running when power demands are high.

Energy Saving Generators and Biodiesel Fuels

If you’re considering renting generators for music festivals, consider alternate options such as portable, energy-saving generators that are matched to fit estimated power consumption levels. Energy efficient generators can store energy for later use. Instead of the engine working constantly, the diesel will work for 3-4 hours, then store the electrical energy that is used later with maximum efficiency. These generators are often lighter in weight than comparable versions, making them an excellent choice for festival rentals and relocations.

Biofuels that are derived from plants provide an alternative to diesel or petrol fuels. By using waste vegetable oil, 5% of festival power demands can be met [3] when these non-toxic and non-contaminative fuel options are used. These fuels produce zero carbon emissions, because the carbon has already been absorbed by the plant during the growing process and is no longer available when the produce is burned.

The biggest power hogs during a festival are the transportation to and from the venue. Supplying shuttles to transport larger groups of people that choose to take public transportation is an energy-saving option. Offering free bicycle parking is another. Always encourage festival goers to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle as part of your sustainable event plan.

[1] http://www.powerful-thinking.org.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/TheShowMustGoOnReport18..3.16.pdf

[2] http://www.powerful-thinking.org.uk/factsheet/hybrid-solargenerator-power/

[3] http://www.powerful-thinking.org.uk/factsheet/biofuels-for-festivals/

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