Energy transition and lowering temperature of buildings at WUR

April 13, 2022

There are currently several developments concerning energy that are affecting WUR’s energy consumption. The war in Ukraine has made it clear how dependent we are on gas from Russia. In addition, action is needed to combat climate change. The government started an initiative (‘turn the heat down’) launched on 2 April, aimed at lowering temperatures in government buildings and households. What are WUR’s plans and how does WUR intend to make its own energy consumption sustainable and reduce it?

Rough Outline Energy Transition WUR 2050 and implementation agenda

With the concluded Climate Agreement and the announced ‘Fit for 55’ EU policy, the legislation and regulations surrounding the use of natural gas, electricity and carbon emissions are changing constantly. There is also growing urgency for taking action to combat climate change. These developments have made it both important and necessary for WUR to act and outline its own ambitions for dealing with the energy transition.

The Rough Outline Energy Transition WUR 2050 covers how WUR intends to realise the energy transition for its real estate and to play a role as a figurehead in the process to remain the most sustainable university in the world.Given the uncertainties about the future energy landscape, this outline for the future is still very much a work in progress. The outline includes a package of measures that will be developed throughout this year into an action plan for the next five years. This will include concrete activities, costs and schedules. More information will follow soon.

Lowering the temperature of WUR buildings

One example of a measure from the outline is optimising buildings’ conditions. This includes reducing our energy consumption by adapting the heating and cooling of buildings.

WUR has a large building portfolio of over 80 buildings, the systems of which are largely automatically controlled. Right now, WUR will find out the technical requirements for implementing the desired changes that will lead to a gradual lowering of temperatures. As well as the possibility whether buildings can be heated later in the morning and cooled earlier in the evening. Adjusting indoor temperatures is easier for office and education buildings than for laboratories, where temperatures must remain within certain limits.