Radboud University’s energy consumption fell by more than 6 per cent in 2020 by comparison with 2019. This decline can be attributed in part to the corona crisis which led to a reduction in the number of hours that the campus buildings were open. Nevertheless, projects to save energy also had a significant effect. With demolition, newbuild and the hybrid energy grid, Radboud University has secured a better grip on natural gas consumption. The annual target set in the Energy Policy Plan has been achieved in 2020 once again.
Targets and Results
The most important objective in the field of energy is to achieve a cut of 2% annually in absolute terms. Savings of 2% have also been set as a target for drinking water. Both targets were easily achieved in 2020.
On account of the coronavirus measures, buildings were mostly closed in the evenings and at weekends. As a result, energy consumption declined by 5.7% in 2020. The implementation of the savings projects shown below, among others, led to additional energy savings of 4.4%.
- Implementation of the hybrid energy grid (HEN);
- Installation of climate control systems in the Huygens, Erasmus and Spinoza buildings;
- LED lighting projects
Savings totalling more than 10%. However, savings in absolute terms in 2020 came to 6.1%, which means that consumption was up by 4%. This increased consumption may primarily be attributed to construction work, which demands a great deal of energy and (partial) vacancy of buildings.
Consumption of drinking water declined once more in 2020 by as much as 35%. This fall was caused in particular by the fact that far fewer people came onto campus in 2020 because of the coronavirus measures.
Radboud University has four solar panel systems which generated more than 0.7% of consumption by sustainable means in 2020. Taken along with sustainable energy from the seasonal thermal energy storage on campus and the purchase of green electricity, the sustainable energy share came to 31% of total consumption. A new record.
The yardstick for the evolution of energy consumption (and implementation of energy policy) at Radboud University is the consumption of electricity and gas. The graph below shows the decline in energy consumption and its effect on CO2 emissions.
Electricity consumption determines the demand for primary energy to the extent of 88%. For this reason, the opportunities for savings in this regard have been listed and incorporated in a savings plan. This plan will facilitate intensifying the implementation of the energy policy. This fits with the aim for energy neutrality and serves as input for the roadmap that all universities are drawing up as their contribution to the National Climate Agreement.