Yorkshire joining the green revolution
PUBLISHED: 15:52 09 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:58 20 February 2013
Local industry gets the green light as Yorkshire businesses turn to renewable energy sources, as Francesca Clayton reports
The print version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Yorkshire Life
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Theres been an attack of the green eyed monster in businesses across Yorkshire, but its not jealousy thats on the rise. As fuel prices continue to soar, more and more local organisations are turning to environmentally friendly power as a way of saving money and the planet.
One such business is Bradfield Brewery in South Yorkshire, who plan to spend over 100,000 on solar panels for the roof of their building at Wyatt House Farm. Once the planning application has been approved the panels will generate around 30,000 kilowatts of electricity a year, which is enough to power half a dozen family homes for 11,000 less than it would cost using traditional fossil fuels.
The brewery, renowned for the Farmer brand of beers, has always been interested in whats best for the local environment and Richard Gill said: It fits in with our ethos of using the best and most natural way of doing things, we already use water from our own borehole on the farm to make the perfect pint. Now we can harness the sun to help in that process.
And its not just commercial enterprises that have recognised the financial and environmental benefits of alternative fuel sources. Bradford Cathedral is about to become the first cathedral in the UK to generate its own power after it was granted permission to install solar panels on its historic roof. Canon Andrew Williams, who leads the Cathedrals Eco Group, said: While it would be naive of us to say that the financial benefits are not important, a key reason for doing this is to reduce our carbon footprint.
A 2006 report by the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology has calculated that renewable energy sources such as solar panels release ten times less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and pay back the CO2 used in manufacturing the cells within the first three years of their use.
Leeds-based company CO2 Sense helps local businesses reduce their carbon dioxide by switching to methods like wind turbines, biomass fuels and hydro-electric converters; all of which cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and costs.
The not-for-profit organisation recently helped set up an anaerobic digestion plant at a farm in Emley, West Yorkshire, which burns food waste and energy crops to generate electricity. Not only will the farm save 36,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, but it will also be able to sell the clean electricity to the national grid for a healthy profit.
Another Yorkshire business flying the green flag is Royal Parade Apartments of Harrogate, which has been featured on both award winning website Greentraveller and luxury hotel guide Alasdair Sawdays Special Places as an environmentally friendly place to stay.
Although they may not have any solar panels just yet, these eco chic boutique apartments use energy saving features like automatic lighting along with environmentally conscious products from local suppliers which reduce the gases emitted during transportation as well as supporting small businesses.