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Honey Dijon DJing at SWG3 in Glasgow
Honey Dijon at SWG3’s BODYHEAT launch eventPhotography Michael Hunter

This Glasgow nightclub is turning your dance moves into renewable energy

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

Young people are leading the charge when it comes to climate justice. As well as initiating global climate strikes and sit-ins, challenging the government’s lack of action, fighting to make COP26 more inclusive, and stepping up when politicians don’t (and so much more), now they’re saving the planet by… going clubbing.

Thanks to a new technology by geothermal energy consultancy TownRock Energy – dubbed BODYHEAT – the SWG3 nightclub and arts venue in Glasgow is turning the heat from dancers’ bodies into renewable energy.

According to TownRock Energy’s founder David Townsend, as per BBC News, it works in a similar way to a fridge, using a heat pump to “move hot air from the club into a series of boreholes, which charge up as a thermal battery”. The technology will trap clubbers’ body heat and convert it into renewable energy that can cool and heat the club (and be stored for months), potentially saving up to 70 tonnes of CO2 each year.

“We’re really excited to actually take this global,” Townsend told BBC News. “We would love for different clubs in different cities to start to compete to be the most green, and see off the back of that how they can get more customers. The clubbing generation right now are very enlightened with regards to climate change, and it will make a big different for clubs to be able to say they’re net zero.”

Speaking to Dazed via email, Townsend discussed the replicability of the BODYHEAT system. “It has a total cost of £350k,” he explains, “but the design is highly scalable to other clubs, event spaces, or gyms, and so has a broad range in capital expenditures according to scale or design.”

SWG3 threw a launch event for BODYHEAT on Sunday (November 7), which saw Honey Dijon perform a headline slot. The actual system is set to be installed early next year. “The launch event was incredible,” says Townsend. “The branding looked fantastic, Honey Dijon played a suburb set, and the New York Times indoor forest gave the whole event a very cool vibe.”

The club is hosting The New York Times Climate Hub at this year’s COP26 in Glasgow, which runs until tomorrow (November 11) and has consisted of virtual and physical talks, workshops, debates, lectures, and more. SWG3 is working towards being net zero within the next four years. “We have a lot of work to do,” the club’s managing director, Andrew Fleming-Brown, said in a press release, “but over the next 12 months, we are committed to building a solid foundation upon which we can transform our organisation into a more sustainable one. We know this won’t be easy, but we understand the severity of the climate emergency, as well as our potential to influence our community, industry, and beyond. We want to lead by example.”