Sports With Less Energy


When you’re caught up in the adrenaline of a sporting competition, that’s all there is. Whether you’re a participator or a spectator, during the event your focus is on the finish line, the goal posts, or the podium.

What we tend to forget – at least in the midst of a sporting triumph – are the logistics behind sport. Putting on almost any event – from a game of ice-hockey, to swimming races – requires energy expenditure. As concern about climate change and energy efficiency continues to grow, elite sports teams and relevant bodies are working to minimise the negative impact they’re having on the environment.


For indoor sports, the efficiency of lighting arenas and stadiums is a key concern. Each event requires numerous hours – and innumerable kilowatts – of energy expenditure for stands, scoreboards, and playing zones, which can prove to be both financially costly and detrimental in terms of emissions.

In response to this, some sporting facilities are beginning to adopt LED lights, as explained in the New York Times. However, it’s not quite as easy as recognising the benefits of LED lighting and installing them immediately. Although they offer long-term savings, LED lights cost much more to install than the incandescent models which have traditionally been used. They are also much more complicated to initially install, despite lasting longer. The considerable upfront expense associated with LED lights has reduced the enthusiasm of some potential adopters.

Sports audiences have to be considered. While LED’s can be dimmed, thereby saving resources when floods of light are not required, they must also be vetted to ensure they do no negatively effect the vision of fans – in the playing facility, or watching at home on TV. Despite these potential difficulties, it is thought that LED lights will become more commonly used over time. In fact, they can be used to buoy players moods, due to their superior simulation of natural sunlight when compared to incandescent options.


For competitive sports requiring motors, improvements are being made in leaps and bounds when it comes to marine energy power systems. Compared to the motoring resources used in the past, contemporary options such as Capterpiller power generators are improving energy efficiency for competitive sports including sea fishing, deep-sea diving, and yachting. As with all means of energy provision, there is no doubt that improvements can still be made to increase the effectiveness of energy power systems further, but present trends indicate that this will surely occur.

Water-based facilities

There is little doubt that pools, with temperature-treated water, air conditioning, and extensive lighting, are big consumers of energy. By upgrading equipment – and perhaps, as previously discussed, transitioning to the use of LED lighting – these facilities are beginning to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. In part, these improvements are being aided by government-funded efficiency programs, such as that of the Geelong Council, demonstrating the effectiveness of collaboration between the public and private sectors when it comes to this issue.

Collective efforts

In order to encourage ongoing, meaningful change, sports stakeholders are banding together to encourage reductions in the energy expenditure in training and playing facilities. For example, the US-based Green Sports Alliance aims to “help sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance”. The Alliance has been in operation for almost four years, with impressive results. Alliances such as Green Sports also work to educate fans, attempting to generate a sense of social responsibility among the fans of participating teams, and ultimately achieve genuine, effective change.

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