Luchtfoto campus
Luchtfoto campus

Annual Energy Report 2019: record level of conservation and use of sustainable energy

The extra efforts made by Radboud University to conserve energy led to the achievement of a number of new records in 2019.

The extra efforts made by Radboud University to conserve energy led to the achievement of a number of new records in 2019. Gas consumption decreased by 24%, the campus solar panels generated a record level of solar energy, and underground thermal energy storage accounted for a larger proportion of the heating and cooling provided in our buildings. Sustainable energy increased to 28% of total energy use in 2019. Drinking water consumption decreased by 10%.

Targets and results

The university’s most important energy target is to achieve an absolute energy conservation rate of 2% per year. There’s also a 2% conservation target for drinking water. Both of those targets were comfortably achieved in 2019. These strong results are mainly a result of:

  • the completion of the Hybrid Energy Grid
  • the modification of heating and cooling systems
  • several LED lighting projects
  • measures to conserve drinking water in laboratories
Hybride energienetwerk campus Radboud Universiteit
Hybride energienetwerk campus Radboud Universiteit

The amount of energy conserved as a result of these projects has been measured and calculated. The conservation rate for 2019 was 7.2%. Absolute energy conservation for 2019 was 4.4%. This is a very good result, but the percentage indicates that there was additional energy use as well as conservation. While this can be partly attributed to construction work and to building vacancies, it does need to be looked at. This will require an Energy Assessment, which is used to reveal the extent of energy conservation or additional use as part of feasibility studies and project proposals.

Because energy consumption is rather uneven across a calendar year, long-term consumption has also been examined. Over the past seven years, average absolute conservation has been 1.8% per year. Over the past three years, the average is higher at 2.4%.

Read more in the Annual Energy Report 2019:

Energy Policy Plan 2017-2020

Energy policy

The Radboud University Energy Policy Plan sets out all the objectives, basic principles, conditions, requirements and responsibilities.

Radboud University’s participation in the National Climate Covenant means it has set a long-term ambition of becoming climate neutral by 2050. The university is also working towards achieving an energy-neutral campus. This means the campus will run entirely on sustainable energy, use only sustainable materials, and carry out circular construction work.

Achieving these long-term objectives will require additional and more stringent measures. In 2020, a conservation plan will be introduced based on an inventory of potential additional conservation measures, and this will enable a more stringent energy policy implementation. This reflects Radboud University’s objective to become energy neutral and is part of the ‘roadmap’ that all universities are establishing as part of the National Climate Agreement.

Cancelling CO2 allowances

Radboud University doesn’t want the CO2 emissions savings made on campus to lead to additional emissions elsewhere. Radboud University is therefore removing the CO2 allowances freed up by these savings from the market.

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