Addenbrook’s in Cambridge is working with energy consultants Utilyx to install the centre, which will help the renowned teaching hospital meet its sustainability targets by providing high efficiency and low carbon heating, hot water and electricity.

Utilyx’s managing director of asset management Mark Stokes said: “Businesses today face disruptive forces and economic uncertainties with regards to future energy prices, security of supply and policy.

“Working with our partner Trucost, we have demonstrated that decentralised energy generation of heat and power is both an economically efficient and practical solution to the UK’s energy problem and has the potential to have a significant impact on decarbonising the UK’s electricity system as well as creating competitive advantage.”

Utilyx commissioned Trucost to carry out research to calculate the comparative environmental profit and loss over the 25 operational years of the hospital’s energy centre. The research took into account areas such as reduced carbon emissions, water consumption, air pollution and use of landfill sites to come up with a total net positive impact to the environment, monitored and verified against an external benchmark.

These costs were weighted against the UK’s energy mix – which is predominantly coal-focused – in order to accurately measure the environmental benefits of decentralised energy.

Business benefits

The gross environmental savings to the hospital were calculated at £80m, including £55m saved in smaller greenhouse gas emissions and £9m from reduced air pollution.

Other savings are estimated to come from avoiding the use of landfill sites, which emit methane, and reduced water consumption during the generation of electricity and heat.

Trucost’s head of research Steven Bullock said: “Environmental profit and loss accounting identifies investments that will most effectively contribute to critical environmental objectives by evidencing the net environmental benefits of more efficient products in business case decision-making.”

The energy centre at Addenbrooke’s NHS hospital in Cambridge will be fully operational by 2016.

Luke Nicholls

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