Wind energy has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last decade and in January 2012 Sir David Attenborough launched Glyndebourne’s wind turbine, an Enercon E44, endorsing the opera house as an environmental innovator in the arts community.
Following the launch, the UK’s only opera house to host an on-site wind turbine is now able to report positively on its first year’s renewable energy generation. The Glyndebourne wind turbine has generated 89% of the organisation’s electricity requirements in the 12 months to 31 January 2013, compared to the stated target of 90% in a year of slightly below average wind speed. During this period, the turbine has achieved an annual yield of 1,395 megawatt-hours (MWh) in 7433 operating hours, with average annual wind speeds of 5.68 metres per second.
Gus Christie, Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne Productions said “We are delighted that these figures have met our predictions – for one turbine to harness the wind on the hill above Glyndebourne and power the opera house represents a huge step in our long-term aspiration of becoming carbon neutral from our direct operations. We are implementing many other energy-saving technologies to further reduce our carbon emissions. We are proud that the turbine has raised awareness of climate change within the local community and among the many audiences who visit us throughout the year.”
Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project said: “A great commitment from all is required if we are to protect future generations by overcoming the challenging and grave problem of climate change. The National Academies of Science have stated that,“the need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.“Further, they suggest that limiting global warming to 2°C would require, “a very rapid worldwide implementation of all available low carbon technologies.” Glyndebourne’s installation of a wind turbine shows leadership in response to these serious warnings from senior scientists.”
Sir David Attenborough adds further weight to the imperative that we must all actively take responsibility for climate change and individually take on the responsibility to reduce carbon emissions. He said: “It is a joy to be involved in something which is working with the environment and not against it. This is what makes the turbine beautiful. It is important to have a care for the future generations and that is exactly what this turbine is doing. Anything you can do to generate electricity in a renewable way is good.”