BBC Studios Natural History Unit employed a 250kW Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) to power each of its 12 live Springwatch broadcasts over the course of the show’s 2021 run.
The hydrogen generator powered the Springwatch OB hub from its base at BBC Bristol.
This is the second time the NHU has used a hydrogen generator, having first employed it during Winterwatch at the end of 2020.
The generator, which has been provided by Siemens Energy and GeoPura, uses ‘green’ hydrogen gas made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity generated by solar and wind power. When used, the hydrogen turns back into pure and drinkable water, meaning that the ‘exhaust’ is emissions and waste free and the process is entirely circular.
The BBC said if the energy provided by GeoPura for Springwatch 2021 had been produced with diesel generators, seven tonnes of CO2 would have been released into the atmosphere in addition to other air pollutants such as NOx and particulates.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit production manager Helen Wallbank said: “We’re really proud to have been able to maintain the use of hydrogen power across Springwatch this year at our BBC Bristol broadcasting hub. Now we’re busy working on plans to continue to integrate green hydrogen technology further into our set up to enable us to power more on location with green energy for future series. We’re also sharing our findings with the wider industry to help drive positive change.”
A video explaining how the series established its green credentials is available here.