'Being green’ is the motto for this weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, and the city will offer its guests everything from electric bicycles and clean tap water from aqua bars to ecological street food and activities in a green urban setting.
But once the visitors step into the B&W venue on Refshaleøen, the word ’green’ no longer applies, as the electricity to power the former shipyard setting will be supplied by 26 large diesel generators.
“In terms of energy and climate, the many generators are a disaster – it would be much better for the climate, energy efficiency and the environment if they used power from the electricity grid,” Kåre Press-Kristensen, a senior adviser for the Danish Ecological Council, told Politiken newspaper.
But Host City Copenhagen, the company behind the renovation of the B&W venue for national broadcasters DR, doesn’t find it odd that the Eurovision brand is green, but the competition itself is being powered by diesel smoke-emitting generators.
“You don’t make a green TV show – that has been clear from the beginning,” Emil Spangenberg, a spokesperson for Host City Copenhagen, said. “There is a huge difference between making a TV show to transmit to 170 million people and a city that works year-round on a green profile.”
The diesel generators, which have been running non-stop for a month, emit twice as much CO2 than power from the electricity grid, releasing dangerous toxic particles and the hazardous gas NOx that the city is trying to reduce.
DR has claimed that the diesel generators are a necessary evil because of the large amount of power required to run the sound, lighting, smoke machines, camera and other technical equipment for the TV show.
Yesterday, a confidential report showed that DR has had to cough up an additional 22.8 million kroner to prepare the venue for the competition after the company tasked with setting up the event ran out of funds.