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Powering the Winter Games

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powering the winter games 

The 2018 Winter Olympics have begun and the energy is overflowing.  

Years of preparation have gone into creating the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and much of it involved building the infrastructure to support an event of such epic proportions.

What’s interesting to see is how much effort is also being put into making sure the games are clean and green. So when it comes to the megawatts used - to the greenhouse gas that’ll be cut -  we’ve got some energy insights that are surefire crowd pleasers.

The First Olympic Winter Games to Obtain ISO 20121

 Let’s start with an look at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games from their massive sustainability report.

One of the most impressive tidbits is that in July 2016,  the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games became the first Olympic Winter Games to obtain ISO 20121, also known as the Event Sustainability Management System.

 This international standard is used to create a work system that not only minimizes the local communities use of materials, energy consumption and environmental, economic and social impact, it guarantees positive benefits for those communities.

Low-Carbon Green 2018 Olympics

This strategy of ISO 20121 calls for low-carbon green Olympics through a recycling infrastructure, sustainable construction, strengthened cooperation network, self-sufficient renewable energy, established green transportation and minimized carbon emissions by 40 percent.

The strategy also includes the stewardship of nature, which ensures biodiversity, restoration of damaged nature (including 57 hectares of alternative forest in Baekdudaegan Protection Areas), a water supply infrastructure and purification of polluted water.

 Between the nine Olympic venues and Olympic Villages this winter, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be cut by 17,721 tons during the Games.

Energy-Saving Games

Digging deeper into ISO 20121, when you’re watching the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, you’re watching a sporting event where the recycling infrastructure includes a new high-speed train and 20 charging stations for 300 electric and hybrid vehicles that’ll reduce 245 tons of CO2eq.

Plus there will be self-sufficient renewable energy in the form of geothermal power plants, solar energy and a wind power generation complex that whips up 102.7 MW.

Sustainable construction?

Yep. That’s led by the Alpensia Sliding Centre, Gangneung Ice Arena, Kwandong Hockey Centre and the Olympic Village, all of which are G-SEED certified. And that’s only the tip of the ice.

Olympic vs. Standard Rink Energy Consumption

Tie up those skates quick — here’s a snapshot of how much energy will be used in energy efficient Gangneung Ice Arena and Kwandong Hockey Centre versus the average neighborhood indoor ice sheet. You decide which gets the gold.

PyeongChang Gangneung Ice Arena

  • 156 KW of solar and 1,099 KW geothermal for a floor area of
  • 97,182 square feet equals 5,527 MWh of energy savings and
    2,541 tCO2eq (greenhouse gas reductions) per competition period

PyeongChang Kwandong Hockey Centre

  • 130 KW of solar and 716 KW geothermal for a floor area of
  • 77,175 square feet equals 5,818 MWh of energy savings and
    2,675 tCO2eq (greenhouse gas reductions) per competition period

ice rink energy use



How about that Alpensia Sliding Centre?

A little icing on the 2018 Olympics is the energy on the mountain, at the Alpensia Sliding Centre.   The Centre, which will use 15 KW of solar and 475 of geothermal, is fitted with leading-edge green facilities including sunlight, solar heat, water resources, a green rooftop, LED track lighting, hybrid security lighting and permeable blocks.  

Never Underestimate the Power of the Olympics

The power of the crowds, the off-the-charts intensity of the athletes and the fire of Olympic flame itself.

 From London in 2012 to the Games in 2030, for which plans are already underway, the role of energy in the Olympics cannot be understated.


Next week we'll take a look at back at Rio 2016 and London 2010 Olympic games to see how the sustainability efforts measure up to this year's winter games. Don't miss an update, be sure to subscribe to our blog today.  

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Posted: February 09, 2018