Doncaster Sheffield Airport plans £2m solar farm to cut emissions
A South Yorkshire airport has announced plans for a £2m solar farm to help slash emissions.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) said renewable energy could generate 25% of its energy and would also “drastically” reduce its carbon footprint.
Aviation minister Baroness Vere said airports must find “practical ways” to become “cleaner and greener”.
Climate change activists Extinction Rebellion dismissed the move as “green-washing”.
The site’s owners Peel Group said passenger numbers for DSA, on the old RAF airfield at Finningley near Doncaster, are predicted to rise to 1.45m this year and double within the next five years.
‘Wildfire with water pistol’
Sophie Armour, from Extinction Rebellion Sheffield, said if that happened, emissions would increase “catastrophically” and installing a solar farm was like “trying to put a wildfire out with a water pistol”.
She said: “It will really affect the majority of us who have to live with extra flights, all for the benefit of a very small number of people who are able to fly more than once a year.
“Just to install a few solar panels is not going to undo that damage. We welcome any effort to install solar energy but to do it while pursuing expanding passenger numbers is just undoing the good work of the solar panels.”
The solar farm forms part of the airport’s 20-year masterplan.
Baroness Vere said: “To bring about real change in transport, we need to do things differently.
“From decreasing carbon emissions at airports to increasing female representation, the aviation industry is acting now to safeguard our future.”
The airport also subscribed to the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter, committing to “a more balanced” aviation industry.
Robert Hough, DSA chairman, said the airport was “committed” to the airport as part of the solution for UK aviation.
DSA said the solar farm could be operational by 2020, giving 1.7 MWp (megawatt peak) of zero carbon energy.
This would save 220 tonnes of carbon each year – the equivalent of boiling 2.2m kettles – according to DSA.
Source: BCC News