Fuel cell technology to power Radisson Blu hotel

Global hotel chain Radisson Blu has partnered with energy supplier E.ON to install low-carbon fuel cells at its property in Frankfurt, which will generate a large share of the site's energy needs.

The fuel cells will supply around 3GWh of electricity and 2GWh of heat to the hotel from late summer 2017. The hotel, which has more than 400 rooms and suites, expects to reduce CO2 emissions by around 600 tonnes a year thanks to the on-site technology.

“We are proud to help carry out such a pioneering project – the first of its kind in Europe,” said Inge Huijbrechts, vice-president of responsible business at the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, the parent company of Radisson Blu.

Huijbrechts said the project will help to bring Radison Blu a step closer to achieving an ambitious goal of reducing the CO2 consumption in the firm’s hotels by another 10% by 2020.

Innovative solution

The announcement marks a breakthrough shift in energy use in the hotel industry, which spends on average 5-10% of total operating revenue on energy use. The German industry alone emits around five million tonnes of CO2 annually, according to estimates.

E.ON believes the sector will become an vital market for energy efficiency. “The continuous growth in the hotel industry makes it an important market for E.ON’s energy solutions business,” E.ON SE executive board member Karsten Wildberger said.

“Innovative energy solutions such as fuel cells can supply added value for hotels, as they significantly lower energy costs and dramatically increase environmental friendliness – up to the point of being climate-neutral.”

The project has received more than £680,000 of funding from the German Federal Ministry of Transport of Digital Infrastructure.

Green hospitality

With evidence highlighting that hospitality businesses can reduce energy costs by 40% through energy efficiency opportunities, a raft of top hoteliers have moved to maximise these savings. The world’s largest hotel operator AccorHotels, which runs the Pullman, Novotel and Ibis hotel chains, has reduced energy consumption by 5.3% since 2011 thanks to an array of sustainability commitments.

Hilton recently established the state-of-the-art corporate responsibility measurement platform LightStay, which helps the group better manage the energy usage of its 4,400+ properties globally, as well as drive improvement across hundreds of indicators over time.

In 2015, Marriott Hotels unveiled a new energy demand reduction scheme to cut its carbon footprint by implementing an automated signal management system which reduces energy output during times of low demand.

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George Ogleby

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