Thames Water has generated enough renewable energy from Swindon's sewage in the last year to cook more than two million Christmas turkeys.

Swindon sewage treatment works created 2.7 million cubic metres of green biogas during the sewage treatment process, which could cook 10 festive meals for everyone living in the town's residents.

In June, Thames Water announced its commitment to leading the future of energy transition by transforming the way it creates and uses power to become net carbon zero by 2030.

Generating renewable power from waste is an important part of this plan. Overall since November 2020, the water company has created almost 140 million cubic metres of biogas, which was transformed into more than 300 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, the amount needed to power more than 140 million metres of fairy light.

Biogas is created by feeding sludge, a by-product of the sewage treatment process, in to special digester tanks where a process called anaerobic digestion takes place. The energy produced can then be used to power sewage treatment works and avoids the use of fossil fuels.

Energy and carbon strategy manager Matt Gee said: "Creating our own clean, green energy is an important part of our sewage treatment process and we're generating more and more each year.

"Doing this allows us to power our sites with renewable and eco-friendly fuels, and as we continue to generate more, we want to export it to be used in our local communities.

"Our long-term plan to be carbon net zero is a key part of our company-wide turnaround plan to ensure we perform in the way that our customers, communities and the environment expect.

"We''ll need to work alongside other companies from a range of industries to ensure we protect the planet for future generations and encourage everyone to look at sustainable, eco-friendly solutions."

Thames Water has already cut emissions by almost 70 per cent since 1990. The UK's largest water supplier is aiming to protect the planet and its 15 million customers' water supply for the future by becoming carbon negative by 2040 by reducing the use of fossil fuels across the business, while increasing solar power and heat recovery schemes, and working with sustainable suppliers and partners.

Eliot Whittington is the director of the UK Corporate Leaders Group, of which Thames Water is an active member.

He added: "As more and more of the world sets strong targets for climate change, it's essential that action follows that ambition.

"Thames Water's investment in new renewable energy is a great Christmas present to the UK's climate targets and to the communities it operates in, and makes a strong down payment on its long term ambition to be carbon net zero by 2030."

CCW senior policy manager Karen Gibbs said: "Reducing carbon emissions is essential in tackling the climate crisis and protecting the environment and our precious water supplies, now and in the future.

"Green energy schemes, like those Thames Water is delivering, play a vital role as the water industry works towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 – two decades ahead of national targets."

Earlier this year, scientists from Thames Water perfected the art of transforming sewage into green electricity at peak times of the day to cut the company's energy bills and help meet the UK's carbon targets.

Britain uses the most power between 4pm and 7pm, when many families are at home using energy-hungry appliances like ovens, dishwashers and kettles. To help save money on its own bills, Thames Water worked with sustainability experts at the University of Surrey on a four-year project to boost the production of biogas from human waste, which can then be used to generate enough electricity to power its sewage treatment sites during this peak period.

Thames Water is urging customers to ensure cooking oil and fat from their Christmas dinner isn't poured down the sink and in to the sewer network, where it can form huge fatbergs which risk sewage spilling out in to homes, businesses and the environment. Find out more about the company's 'Bin it – don't block it' campaign.