In an effort to minimize reliance on fossil fuels, this year’s Helsinki International Horse Show, which hosted the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier, was powered entirely by horse poo.
The Helsinki International Horse Show hosts 50,000 horse lovers and fans each year to watch the world’s best riders compete in Helsinki Ice Hall. This year’s event marks the fifth year in a row in which the event was powered exclusively from horse manure. Over 100 tons of horse manure collected from 370 horses over the course of the four-day event produced 150 megawatt hours of energy. The power generated from the horse manure was also used to heat homes in the Finnish capital.
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) hopes that the power generated at this year’s Helsinki International Horse Show will showcase how sporting events can play a role in supporting sustainability.
“The manure-to-energy system has demonstrated that ideas for alternate energy solutions can come from the most unexpected places,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said in an FEI press release. “The Helsinki initiatives make a tremendous contribution, not just in terms of the value they deliver to equestrian sport, but also for the wider implications they have for local and regional communities. It clearly shows that the equestrian community is serious about its responsibility to preserve the environment.”
This manure-to-energy system was developed by an international electricity generation company called Fortum HorsePower. The sustainable approach accommodated all of the equestrian event’s electricity needs, which included lighting, scoreboards and cell phone charging stations.
“The manure-to-energy system holds immense potential for countries with large horse populations and has shown that out-of-the-box solutions are needed if we are to move away from our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Fortum HorsePower Vice President Anssi Paalanen in an FEI press release. “It’s possible to charge a phone with only 0.2 decilitres of horse manure and the manure produced daily by two horses can generate heat for a single family home for a year.”
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