- In a world first for a sporting event, the European Tour Productions and IMG led production will be powered 100% by green hydrogen, producing zero emissions
- UK-based clean energy company, GeoPura, to supply two hydrogen power units to fuel the production
- The golf buggies used at the tournament will also be recharged using electricity generated from hydrogen for the first time
The 2023 BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour will be the first ever sporting event to have its television production powered entirely by green hydrogen – producing zero emissions – when it takes place at Wentworth Club, Surrey, from 14-17 September.
European Tour Productions, the DP World Tour’s in-house production company, and its exclusive production and distribution partner, IMG, are working with UK-based clean energy company, GeoPura, to supply two hydrogen powered generators (HPUs) that will be positioned on the fairway of the 6th hole at Wentworth Club. It is estimated that relying on HPUs will save a total of 16.4 Tonnes of CO2 compared to the 2022 tournament. Used in place of high polluting diesel generators, these units produce zero CO2 or particulate emissions, with water the only by-product.
The GeoPura HPU works by utilising green hydrogen, produced through renewable energy sources, to generate emission free electricity which is being used to power the broadcast compound.
The golf buggies used at the tournament to transfer people and equipment across the site will also be recharged using electricity generated via hydrogen for the first time.
These innovative developments form another part of the DP World Tour’s Green Drive initiative, which has seen the Tour become the first professional golf Tour to commit to being fully net zero carbon by 2040. This is one pillar of the Tour’s wider Golf for Good programme, which focuses on leaving a positive long-term impact on the courses, countries and the communities visited each season.
In conjunction with IMG, European Tour Productions produces the live coverage for DP World Tour events around the world, working alongside Sky Sports in the UK and NBC Golf Channel as producer of the US coverage. Other recent, sustainability focused broadcast innovations include trialling remote productions for the first time this season. So far, five tournaments on the 2023 DP World Tour schedule have been produced remotely from the European Tour Productions HQ at IMG Studios in Stockley Park, UK. By significantly reducing the number of staff travelling to these tournaments, each remote production has saved approximately 87 tonnes of CO2.
Commenting on this new development Richard Bunn, Managing Director of European Tour Productions, said: “We are always on the look out for new technologies that will us get to net zero carbon by 2040. Hydrogen is the future of power distribution and has the added benefit of being more resilient than diesel units because they have fewer moving parts. Taking this leap, a first for our industry, at such a high-profile Rolex Series tournament is a big statement. This is just the start, and the plan is to roll-out hydrogen power across multiple tournaments in 2024. We also want to share what we have learnt with our industry peers, as tackling the climate emergency must be a collective effort.”
Mary-Claire Gill, Head of Production for European Tour Productions, at IMG, said: “This is another example of how we’re continually looking to improve the sustainability of our live event production, in addition to introducing remote production for the DP World Tour this year. Not only is this a world-first for sport, but it shows how the media industry can innovate to bring change and both European Tour Productions and the DP World Tour have been fantastic partners with us on this journey.”
The European Tour Group partnered with IMG in 1992, to produce and distribute its live world feed. In 2023, IMG is producing the live world feed for 24 DP World Tour events globally including The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, The Scottish Open and DP World Tour Championship. IMG’s agile content team also creates innovative and engaging highlights, features, and digital for every DP World Tour event, produced from IMG’s world-class studio facilities at Stockley Park that are powered by 100% renewable energy and home to the latest remote production technologies.
Andrew Cunningham, CEO of GeoPura, said: “We’re incredibly proud to partner with the DP World Tour and IMG to power the TV production of the 2023 BMW PGA Championship with green hydrogen. The tour is to be congratulated for investing in the replacement of polluting diesel generators with our hydrogen power units. This forward thinking not only means saving tonnes of carbon emissions but also improves local air and water quality, creating a better experience for players, spectators, staff and neighbours – all without compromising on the production quality. Our HPUs deliver consistent, quiet, and emissions-free energy that can be relied on, even for live, high profile outside broadcasts such as this.
“This groundbreaking milestone demonstrates how hydrogen power will revolutionise sports events and contribute to a more sustainable, enjoyable future. It’s great to see the unit at Wentworth and we look forward to continuing our partnership and expanding the use of hydrogen across future tournaments, helping meet the Tour’s net zero carbon goals and inspiring others in the industry to embrace cleaner energy solutions.”
Peter Ward, Head of Operations of Film and TV Services, added: “Sustainable power provision is something we are constantly working towards, finding new solutions to make productions greener and drive towards the zero emissions goal. Being able to supply a total emission free power package for the 2023 BMW PGA Championships is a very exciting opportunity and really looking forward to working with everyone to deliver this event.”
About The European Tour group
The European Tour group is the overarching corporate brand which administers five competition brands: the DP World Tour, the Challenge Tour, the Legends Tour, the G4D Tour and, along with the PGA of America, is the Managing Partner of golf’s greatest team contest, the Ryder Cup.
Established in 1972, the European Tour group is committed to ‘Driving Golf Further’ through our guiding principles of being innovative, inclusive and global.
Innovative: We are driving innovation in golf through the creation of award-winning content, pioneering tournament formats and the use of the latest technology and inventive fan engagement. We are committed to attracting new audiences whilst respecting the tradition of our sport.
Inclusive: We are committed to include all who share a love for the game of golf. We are passionate about a closer collaboration with the women’s game, disability golf and promoting the many physical and mental health benefits of playing golf.
Global: Since 1972, players from 37 different countries have won tournaments on our main Tour, while our live broadcast reaches more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. We also enjoy the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with DP World, Rolex, BMW, Emirates, Fortinet and Hilton as Official Partners.
The European Tour group has Strategic Alliances with the PGA TOUR, the Sunshine Tour, and the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, while we also drive positive community impact through our overarching sustainability programme, Golf for Good.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. The company manages some of the world’s greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.
A GeoPura HPU is a sustainable and innovative solution that harnesses the power of green hydrogen to generate electricity. The process involves using renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, to produce hydrogen through electrolysis. This hydrogen is then stored and utilised as fuel in the hydrogen powered generator.
In live sports broadcasting, replacing traditional diesel generators with HPUs offers several key benefits. Firstly, HPUs produce zero harmful emissions, making them environmentally friendly and ideal for use in pristine outdoor locations without compromising air quality or contributing to climate change.
Secondly, the silent operation of HPUs ensures that audio quality during live sports broadcasts is not compromised. There will be no disruptive noise from generators, creating a better viewing experience for audiences.
Thirdly, HPUs are highly reliable, providing a consistent power supply throughout the event. This eliminates the risk of power outages that could disrupt the broadcast and helps maintain a seamless and uninterrupted transmission to viewers.
Additionally, HPUs offer the advantage of being easily transportable to remote sports venues. This allows broadcasters to expand their coverage to areas that may not have access to reliable grid power, increasing the accessibility of live sports events to audiences worldwide.
By using HPUs powered by green hydrogen in live sports broadcasting, broadcasters can showcase their commitment to sustainability and responsible energy practices. This fosters a positive brand image and establishes them as industry leaders in embracing clean energy solutions for their live event coverage.
GeoPura supplies clean energy to users that require power at temporary sites, long-term backup, off-grid power, and energy supply to augment existing grids. The power is provided by leasing GeoPura’s proprietary Hydrogen Power Unit, developed in collaboration with Siemens Energy and network of hydrogen production sites. GeoPura’s customers comprise a mix of short and long duration bookings across construction, TV & film, and festivals & events, including BBC and HS2, among others.
Whereas a typical 250kVA diesel generator would emit 960g of CO2 per kWh, as well as 932.5g of NOx/HC, and 327.5g of CO per hour of operation; the HPU emits zero pollutants. The only emission is pure water and the unit emits far less noise pollution.