The global population and its demand for energy increases every day. How we meet that demand is the critical issue given that the type and amount of energy we use, and the emissions that arise from that use, have an impact on our environment, climate and our quality of life.
Traditional sources of energy are peaking or declining. In a volatile world they’re proving increasingly difficult to deliver. Costs are rising rapidly. In the face of climate change and environmental degradation it’s also clear that they will come under increased regulation. Sustainable, secure, renewable energy sources are the way forward, so embracing this change and adapting energy supply makes ever greater commercial sense.
For most golf courses, day-to-day management of turfgrass is the single, largest resource consumption area. From 'embodied' energy in products such as maintenance machinery, fertilizers and pesticides, to the treatment of water and the use of non-renewable fuels, reductions in the resource inputs into turfgrass will unlock significant economic and environmental gains. At its heart, the future health of the golf industry rests on a combination of efficiently managed turfgrass and a smooth transition to cleaner and cheaper energy.
Getting ahead of the curve
As an industry golf is in a good position to lead. Many golf facilities are well placed to harness geothermal heating and cooling, and solar and wind-power generation. Passive design (avoiding use of inefficient, energy squandering, mechanical systems) can be utilized by architects to reduce or remove energy loads of buildings and landscapes. These technologies can be retrofitted into courses and clubhouses. Renovations to courses offer huge opportunities for energy and resultant cost savings across long-term maintenance.