BBC radio station 5Live to operate only on renewables on Energy Day

23 Aug 2013

Renewable energy will power BBC’s live news and sport radio station 5Live on Energy Day on 5 September in Manchester, England, to highlight concerns over how the UK will meet binding climate targets in the coming years.

Biofuels, solar panels, portable wind turbines, mini hydro and bicycle-driven generators will keep the lights on and programming on air at a specially designed low-energy studio at the 5Live headquarters.

RTCC (Responding to Climate Change) reported Jonathan Wall, the station’s controller, as having said Energy Day is an innovative and unique way to look at a national news story.

Future Human

“Radio 5Live will be bringing the debate to audiences and offering them the chance to put their questions to those that matter in the world of energy,” said Wall, who came up with the Energy Day idea.

“Powering a studio purely on renewable energy is a risk for the station but will make for exciting radio nonetheless.”

The day’s programming may include UK energy chief Ed Davey taking part in a breakfast show, and scientists involved in a UN climate science report.

5Live has contingency plans in place, just in case the renewable energy sources fail to deliver the estimated 2 amps of power the station needs to remain operational.

The radio station also has other environmentally friendly activities and exhibits planned for Energy Day, such as a mini energy grid, a human hamster wheel, and see-saws and exercise bikes that generate kinetic energy. Chip fat from the BBC canteen will even be used to create biofuel.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic