Clean Power Blog

Large-scale sporting events have never historically been particularly environmentally friendly.

The combination of transportation, increased population, large-scale construction and the pressure of strict deadlines typically means massive energy use, with tons of carbon being released into the air.

Or in the case of the 2014 FIFA World Cup – 2.72 million tons.

For perspective, the month-long event will produce an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide to 560,000 cars in a year.  The event is expected to produce almost twice as much carbon emissions as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Eighty percent of the total emissions will come from transportation alone, as fans and players fly between the twelve stadiums spread across the sprawling South American country.

While this may seem like bad news, this World Cup will, in fact, be one of the most environmentally-conscious events ever staged.

All stadiums are intended to achieve a base-line standard of sustainability, with 10 of the 12 total stadiums having applied for LEED status, which indicates a highlevel of sustainability. The Garrincha stadium in the capital is seeking LEED Platinum status; it would be the first soccer stadium to be granted this accreditation.

A couple Fridays back, the MassCEC offices were buzzing with excitement - and not just in anticipation of the weekend.

Governor Deval Patrick joined the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center in celebrating each of their momentous internship programs and honoring the many companies and interns who have participated over the years.

 

More than 200 years ago, the Barstow family built a dairy farm on a plot of land in Hadley.

Earlier this month, the family celebrated another milestone on their sixth-generation farm - the start-up of their new anaerobic digester.

I was excited to travel to Hadley with MassCEC Program Director Amy Barard for the digester ribbon-cutting, which drew neighbors, friends, partners and several state officials, including Energy and Evnrionmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlet, Agriculture Commissioner Greg Watson and Environmental Protection Commissioner David Cash.

So what is an anaerobic digester, and why is it such an exciting event when one goes online?