The future is brown: Horse manure used to power entire equestrian event in Helsinki

Access to the comments Comments
By Andrew Robini  & Angela Barnes
The future is brown: Horse manure used to power entire equestrian event in Helsinki

In a glimpse of the future, an equestrian show in Helsinki in Finland has used horse manure to provide electricity.

Organisers of the FEI World Cup Jumping Show received praise for their efforts from the world’s governing equestrian body, that said it paved the way towards cutting reliance on fossil fuels.

The International Equestrian Federation hopes it will showcase how future sporting events can have a role in supporting sustainability.

According to reports, more than 100 tonnes of manure from 370 horses were used to create 150 megawatts of energy that not only provided electricity for the four-day event but also heated 26 small flats in Helsinki for a month.

Tom Gordin, event director of the Helsinki International Horse Show, said:

"We had a vision to do something for making a cleaner world. We didn't have a clue how to start. But then we jumped into a sponsorship and partnership with Fortum, a big international energy company, and they came up with this manure invention."

Fortum HorsePower, which has helped the event power lights and scoreboards for a fifth consecutive year, provides heat for approximately 1,250 customers in the area, all year round.

Anssi Paalanen, vice president of Fortum HorsePower, said:

“We first started to use horse manure here in 2015. First in small test amounts and then slowly ramping up the production and getting what is now roughly 10 percent."

The vice president of Fortum HorsePower also said that manure from two horses daily was enough to heat a single-family house for one year and added manure output from the estimated 6 million horses in Europe could satisfy Finland’s entire electricity consumption.