Reasons for hope in the green revolution – Part 3
In this the third article Midlands energy expert Ron gives more reasons to be optimistic about the future this year with two more inspiring green stories.
Hitting climate change for six: The third T20 between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston, Birmingham, in September last year seemed to be just another afternoon of cricket, but it was the opening innings of a cricket revolution.
Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s 25,000-seater stadium was run entirely off wind, hydro and solar power for the first time ever.
Free shuttle buses were put on this year from outside Birmingham New Street station and car parks at the ground were closed.
Even the four and six cards waved in the crowd at cricket matches for two decades or more were produced with ‘seed paper’ which, when planted at home, will grow wild flowers.
The lawnmowers and roller used to prepare the playing surface were switched to electric alternatives, while red meat was banned from the hospitality menus.
Spectators’ food was, however, wrapped in sustainable packaging lined with seaweed, whether they knew it or not.
The cricket county acted after a trial for T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston found 79 per cent of carbon emissions were caused by spectator and staff travel.
“This is a very important move for cricket and I hope other counties follow Warwickshire’s example in being a sustainable venue,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd, which is based at Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park.
“Unfortunately, cricket is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change with around 40 per cent of cricket grounds in England and Wales at risk, whether through drought or flooding.”
Greener ships: A cargo ship fitted with giant, British-designed special wind-powered sails, has completed its maiden voyage which could help the industry navigate into a greener future.
The Pyxis Ocean, which has been chartered by shipping firm Cargill, set out from China to Brazil on a six-week journey in the autumn. It is the first real test of the new wind wing technology which aims to cut both fuel consumption and shipping’s carbon footprint.
Folded down when the ship is in port, the rigid WindWings are opened when it is at sea. Built of the same material as wind turbines to make them durable they stand 123ft (37.5m) tall.
“This could be a huge turning point for the maritime industry in fighting climate change,” said Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox. “I shall be watching this development with real interest as it is estimated the industry is responsible for 837 million tonnes of CO2 each year which is about 2.1 per cent of global emissions.”
This invention will enable a vessel to be blown along by the wind, rather than rely solely on its engine, and could hopefully eventually reduce a cargo ship’s lifetime emissions by 30 per cent.
The technology for the Pyxis Ocean was developed by UK firm BAR Technologies, which was inspired by Sir Ben Ainslie’s 2017 America’s Cup team.
For more advice on green energy contact Ron Fox, on 01782 756995.
Caption: Bowling in with a green cricket revolution – Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s 25,000-seater Edgbaston stadium. Picture: Wikipedia.