Non-renewable source fuels Olympic cauldron

Olympic organisers considered using biogas to fuel the Olympic cauldron but chose to use less eco-friendly natural gas to reduce costs.

The London organising committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) told edie that they went with the decision to use a non-renewable energy source because of the higher price of biogas and the vast storage space needed.

Chairman of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, Shaun McCarthy said he was, “bitterly disappointed that Locog was unable to take a powerful message about sustainability to every community in the country.”

However, Mr McCarthy added that the option chosen by Locog was “the right one under the circumstances,” and he pointed out that the cauldron was still far more sustainable than at the last Games.

Mr McCarthy explained that the cauldron was nearly 20 times lighter than the one used at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and that less material meant a reduction in carbon in the manufacturing process and fewer natural resources required for the materials.

He was also impressed that the cauldron’s gas flow could be turned down at night reducing consumption by 75%.

Mr McCarthy said: “London 2012 has created a cauldron that has a fraction of the materials of the traditional type, it can be turned down at night to use a fraction of the gas and it is personal to each and every team. It gives a message to the world that big is not always beautiful and that you can be spectacular and sustainable.” 

Conor McGlone

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