Here Comes the Sun: Abbey Road Studios to run on renewable energy

Wind and solar energy is set to power music recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios thanks to a deal struck this week between Universal Music UK and renewable electricity supplier Ecotricity.

The agreement will see Ecotricity provide energy powered by wind turbines and solar arrays to four of Universal Music UK’s key London sites, including its Kensington High Street HQ and Abbey Road Studios – the world’s oldest purpose-built recording studio, famed for the eponymous album produced there by The Beatles.

“Universal is committed to sustainability, as are many of our artists, and we hope other organisations will follow our lead and take similar steps to power their operations with green energy,” Universal Music U’s chief operating officer David Sharpe said.

Universal recently achieved the creative sector’s three-star Industry Green certification thanks to its forward-thinking approach to environmental sustainability.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince believes more companies should follow in Universal Music UK’s footsteps by switching to green energy suppliers.

“Powering a business with green energy is the biggest single step that any business can take to cut the emissions that cause air pollution and climate change,” Vince said. “Simply by switching to green energy, Universal Music UK will reduce the environmental impact of their own operations ­– while also supporting Britain’s energy independence and the green economy.”

Disruptive force

A recent Sunday Times study identified Ecotricity as one of the UK’s most disruptive companies. The research recognised Ecotricity for being the world’s first “green” company, which has a business model that is creating a new market and “rapidly taking market share from competitors”.

The Gloucestershire-based firm’s latest foray in the UK renewable energy market led to more than £12m of applications for its fourth corporate mini-bond ahead of last week’s deadline.

Ecotricity has overseen several projects in recent months, including an on-site NHS wind turbine and “hybrid” wind parks. Earlier this year, the company gained planning permission to create some of the first hybrid energy parks in Britain, by combining current wind farms with two new “sun parks” in Devon and Leicestershire respectively.

The energy supplier plans to build a 100-acre sports and green technology ecopark next to the M5, which could create more than 4,000 jobs in the emerging green economy. It also recently agreed a deal to purchase 3.1 million additional shares in rival renewable energy supplier Good Energy, increasing its stake in the company from 5.58% to 24.85%.

George Ogleby

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