Investment in renewable energy through anaerobic digestion has helped Yorkshire Water reduce its carbon emissions by 4.3 per cent in the last three years, the water company revealed this week. The company also utilises wind turbines and hydro-turbines to generate green power.

Pumping water and operating treatment works makes the water industry one of the highest consumers of energy in the country; Yorkshire Water alone has an annual electricity bill of around £50 million. Now 18 of the company’s major sewage treatment works generate electricity from biogas emitted during the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. This includes the sewage treatment works at Naburn in York and Blackburn Meadows in Sheffield which generate over a third of their energy from renewables.

By making investment in renewables, Yorkshire Water has reduced its carbon emissions by a total of 15 per cent since 2008. The decrease in emissions has helped the firm retain its Carbon Trust Standard.

Erica Lack, one of Yorkshire Water’s Energy & Recycling managers, said: “To achieve a reduction of over four per cent in carbon emissions within the last three years demonstrates we are serious about improving the environmental performance of the business. Water and waste water treatment is a hugely energy intensive process, but thanks to advances in technology and lots of hard work from colleagues across the business, we are making major reductions in operational emissions.”

Photo: A biogas bag used to create electricity as part of the renewable anaerobic digestion process. Image: Yorkshire Water