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AD plans for Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace’s £369m renovation plans include the construction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility on-site.

The Buckingham Palace Reservicing Programme report says that AD would create sufficient energy to supply more than 5% of the palace’s energy needs.

It says the benefits of installing an AD unit is its low cost, it would reduce the palace’s carbon footprint by about 5% and it would also cut the existing cost of waste removal.

A primary heat source, such as gas-fired boilers, would still be needed to meet the bulk of the palace’s energy requirements, the report adds.

Construction is due to begin in April 2017, subject to funding, and is expected to last 10 years.

Planning consultants also suggested fitting solar panels on the palace roof to generate electricity (mock-up pictured).

Energy generated by the panels would initially be less than 5% of the current building demand, but the report says this could increase to 10% as power consumption reduces and as the carbon content in grid electricity is lowered.

“This option will be a viable, credible and potentially valuable addition to the palace, particularly in terms of protecting the environment,” the report says.

Solar thermal panels, ground source heat pumps, electrical heating and fuel cells were also mentioned by the report as possible future heating and power supplies.

Meanwhile, 140,000 people have signed a petition calling for the royal family to pay for the refurbishment rather than the Treasury, which has said the annual sovereign grant will increase by 66% to cover the cost.

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