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Energy Strategy for the University of Siegen
Every degree and every kilowatt hour matters—and everybody can help. The University of Siegen is promoting four packages to save energy.
Like most of us, the University of Siegen is following the skyrocketing prices for power, gas, and other energy resources with due concern. University operations, from research to instruction across multiple locations, require a lot of energy—especially with the cold months of the winter semester just around the corner. These concerns have led the university to develop a comprehensive energy strategy. “Like all consumers, the university is affected by the massive price hikes. We need to conserve energy, across the board. Each degree, every kilowatt hour matters—and everybody can help in this effort,” notes University Rector Prof. Holger Burckhart. “We want to make our contribution as a university to the effort to save energy, keep costs in check, and move towards more sustainable long-term sources of energy.”
The energy strategy at the University of Siegen is framed around 4 pillars:
Pillar 1—Cutting energy consumption
The university requires large volumes of energy and natural gas to operate its campus locations. The goal is to reduce energy consumption as much as possible—without getting in the way of research and instruction. Some measures in this effort were implemented long ago, such as the university's three combined heat and power plants that produce roughly 6 million kwH of electricity. LED lighting with daylight sensors, heat recovery systems to reduce heating needs in winter and cooling needs in summer, high-efficiency pumps that consume little energy as they distribute warmth and coolness, and real-time monitoring of energy consumption are additional steps in the right direction.
These measures are now being expanded, meaning any and all technical and organizational options for saving energy are being explored. More details can be expected in the coming weeks.
Pillar 2—Conscientious use of energy
One decisive point is the conscientious use of energy. “Success here depends on the behavior of our colleagues. Each and every one of us needs to contribute on this point. Because how we interact with energy ultimately influences our overall energy needs. The burden must be shared, but it's one we can tackle together,” says University Chancellor Ulf Richter. Examples of conscientious energy practices: turning off computers and lights when leaving a room, closing the windows, and turning down the heater. The University of Siegen supports the “80 Million Together for the Energy Revolution” campaign by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
In the coming weeks, the university will be publishing tips and suggestions on conscientious use of energy to reach the greatest possible audience at the university and increase the impact of the campaign.
Pillar 3—Advance planning
The university has established a panel of energy experts, with participation by AStA and the Studierendenwerk Siegen. The committee will issue recommendations for action steps by the university and begin advance planning. These will include various contingency plans to ensure that university can react flexibly even if gas rationing is mandated in the coming months.
The university has already formulated a sustainability mission statement, with the rector’s office delegating oversight of “Sustainability” to the Prorector's Office for Resources and Governance under Prorector Prof. Volker Stein. Its approach to the energy strategy is particularly focused on growing sustainability at the infrastructural level. Specifically, solar panels are to be installed on all building surfaces in the medium- and long-run to produce more electricity in house. Solar panels have already been installed on the rooftops of the Emmy Noether Campus and the SSC building (Adolf Reichwein Campus). New university buildings will be constructed to use as little energy as possible. The goal of the “Siegen. Knowledge Connects” project and the relocation of additional faculties to the inner city are all being conducted with the desire to operate the new campus locations in climate-neutral ways.
For the university's energy strategies to work, everyone in the university community—students, employees in technology, administration, and academics, professors—must all join in. Do you have tips, criticism, or suggestions for saving energy? Please let us know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.