Once the vaccination programme starts to help overcome the pandemic, combatting climate catastrophe and its irreversible changes to the earth's climate systems will remain the greatest global priority.

Specialist security provider VPS has been developing and piloting more diverse options to power its CCTV Smart Tower range, used widely in the hospitality, retail and highways sectors where independently powered security cameras are most needed. It deploys the UK and Europe's largest stock of CCTV Smart Towers with thousands of cameras in operation.

Last summer VPS ran a successful pilot scheme to support a highway safety monitoring project using Smart Towers with ultra-low wattage solar panels in a hybrid solution, utilising methanol and hydrogen fuel cell batteries in combination. The CCTV provided fully autonomous 24/7 security and monitoring solutions requiring no external power sources.

"We see addressing climate change as a key growth driver, as our customers want a sustainable service included in their security or safety provision," explained Ewen Tyson, head of VPS site security operations. "So, as well as the low-carbon, sustainable options of hydrogen and methanol energy fuel cells, we're extending the options having successfully trialled the use of solar panels. Our aim is to drive down the Tower power use."

The commonly used sustainable option of hydrogen fuel cells emit just water and enables Smart Towers to operate without an external power supply.

Because VPS operates across Europe, it has kept up-to-date with the differences in other countries' approach to selecting greener energy options. Germany, for example, focuses on ammonia and methanol to deliver hydrogen as a clean-burning fuel for industries. The UK government sees hydrogen as central to getting to a net zero carbon world by 2050, to the extent that development of Europe's first two hydrogen production plants is set to be subsidised by the government as part of a £90 million funding drive to accelerate the country's transition to low-carbon energy.

"We're expanding our development of sustainable security and CCTV monitoring not just to meet the demand and therefore taking up the business opportunity, but also because repairing the earth's environment has heightened focus on sustainable measures," concluded Tyson.

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