Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Bahrain Grand Prix night race to be solar-powered from 2022

2022 F1 season

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The Bahrain Grand Prix promoters have announced the night race will be solar-powered from next season.

The event was run in the daytime when it joined the Formula 1 calendar in 2004. Floodlights were installed so the desert race could be at held at night, when temperatures are more comfortable for spectators, in 2014.

Now the promoters have confirmed electricity for the entire event will come from a solar farm at the circuit. Construction is due to begin this summer and the farm is expected to provide more than enough energy for next year’s race.

“Today’s commitment is an important part of our broader sustainability aims as a circuit and supports F1’s own target to be net carbon neutral by 2030,” said the chief executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.

“This initiative will not only make our F1 race a cleaner and greener event in the future, but will encourage other large-scale events to make the move to sustainable energy, and inspire sports fans to embrace change.”

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the change “perfectly aligns” with the sport’s net-zero carbon goal.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is one of four rounds on the world championship calendar to run under floodlights. Singapore was the first country to hold an F1 night race in 2008 and was joined by Abu Dhabi the following year. The new Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Street Circuit will also be held under artificial lighting.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 17 comments on “Bahrain Grand Prix night race to be solar-powered from 2022”

    1. That is excellent news! For a second I totally didn’t associate Bahrain with dreadful human rights policies

      1. Any women be allowed to work on that project ?
        If they miss the deadline, will the managers be executed ?
        Will the newspapers be allowed to report what happened ?

    2. The main reason for becoming a floodlit race was because Sunday is a working day in the Gulf region. The afternoon isn’t unpleasant in March, April, November, and December.
      I wonder why hasn’t this change happened earlier? Not the end of the world, though. Better later than never.

    3. Martin Elliott
      25th March 2021, 13:22

      Fortunately they have a large area of wildlife rich desert to cover in solar panels (How big?).

      No mention of the Storage Capacity needed since panels only work during the day. Doh!

      Is this actually going to power the whole circuit requirements, or just the lighting?
      What will the unit the holistic unit cost of the energy be compared to current (sorry) grid?

      1. No mention of the Storage Capacity needed since panels only work during the day. Doh!
        There was no mention of solar panels in the article
        They said that the power will be supplied by a solar farm.
        Windmills work all day if that is what they are going to use.

        1. I want to see these solar powered windmills.

          1. Well, technically, the Wind is a form of energy that is caused by solar energy as well EccyThump.

            1. True, fair point. :)

          2. You sir, deserve a beer.

            hahaha

      2. We know from Abu Dhabi that it is possible to power the entire circuit that way, as they switched over to solar power with a storage system a few years ago.

        With regards to cost, whilst you might note that Abu Dhabi can afford to spend a lot, I believe their system is fairly cost effective as it is based on mature technology that has been used for quite a few years in the wider power network.

        In that case, I think the change was mainly motivated by the fact that, in the long term, it actually worked out to be cheaper.

        Reply moderated
      3. A separate storage facility wouldn’t necessarily be required if they use CSP. It doesn’t mention anywhere what kind of solar they are talking about.

      4. “Is this actually going to power the whole circuit requirements, or just the lighting?” I think the official F1 site said that they would power all the functions of the track.

    4. Is it April 1st already?

    5. Upcoming Headline … Silverstone 100% solar powered for lighting at 2021 Grand Prix.
      Initiative achieved within current budget limitations and no animals were harmed during the construction of the Solar Energy Farm that provides the lighting.

    6. Stephen Higgins
      25th March 2021, 14:36

      If it was lunar-powered, that would be something …

    7. Is there any word of what kind of energy storage system would be used? Probably batteries.

    8. The carbon footprint is probably immense compared to just using grid power or even diesel generators unless these lights get used very regularly.

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