Major milestone on University journey to zero-carbon

We are delighted to announce a significant step-change in our move towards sustainable forms of energy at the University. Working in partnership with our energy brokers we have been able to switch our commitment towards 100% renewable energy when our new contract comes into place in 2021.

From next year 100% of our electricity consumption will be backed with REGO (‘Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin’) certification. This means that for every megawatt (or 1,000kWh) of electricity the university consumes, the equivalent volume of electricity is generated from renewable sources.

Our University Academic Lead for Carbon, Professor Carly McLachlan, said: “This is an important step as we move towards sustainable energy consumption, but it is only the start. We will also agree a ‘Power Purchase Agreement’ (PPA) with a renewables generator to create additional volume equal to the University’s electricity requirement and, over the longer term, remove gas fossil fuels from our energy systems. These actions will form part of our wider plan in Our Future to completely decarbonise our campus, significantly reduce our energy demand and identify a range of zero carbon energy supply options to deploy.”

To put our electricity use into context, the average family home consumes around 3,200kWh per annum. Due to the research-intensive nature of our activities, we are considered a high-energy user with an annual electricity consumption of around 100,000,000 (100M) kWh – the equivalent of around 31,000 family homes. We will therefore effectively be decarbonising the equivalent of an area the size of Stretford in Greater Manchester.

We are currently finalising the contracts on behalf of the University and work will commence in 2021 to agree the Power Purchase Agreement implementation timeline with a new supplier. We’ll publish further updates as this work progresses.

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