Target 2030: reducing emissions from the energy sector by 90 per cent (electrical energy) and 80 per cent (thermal energy) compared to the current greenhouse gas balance.
The energy sector is responsible for the largest share of emissions at the University of Graz. Successful energy management is therefore crucial. The University of Graz’s goal is to reduce 90 per cent of emissions by 2030 compared to the current greenhouse gas balance.
Since 2019, the University of Graz has been purchasing 100 per cent of its electricity from certified renewable and regional sources. This makes the University of Graz the second university in Austria to purchase certified green electricity. To use electrical energy that is as environmentally friendly as possible is an important lever in the reduction of CO2 emissions. By switching to certified green electricity, the University of Graz was able to reduce its electricity emissions by about 90 per cent.
Green electricity with certification ...
... must be purchased 100% from green power suppliers
... a minimum proportion of the electricity must come from photovoltaics (currently 1.4%)
... can come exclusively from renewable energy sources, such as wind energy, biomass, geothermal energy and hydropower
...has to meet higher requirements for electricity production from hydropower: for example, structural measures must ensure the continuity of fish by means of fish ladders, and a supply of high-quality surface waters must be guaranteed all year round.
(Excerpt from the criteria. The complete guideline on certified green electricity is available on the website of the Austrian Ecolabel.)
In addition, the photovoltaic systems on the roofs of the university buildings are being constantly developed. The largest photovoltaic system is located on the roof of the university library spanning an area of 300 square meters. The second photovoltaic system at Merangasse 70 started operating in 2020, and in 2022, two further locations will be equipped with photovoltaic panels: the roof of the RESOWI building and the roof of the newly emerging University Sports Centre at Rosenhain.
• Merangasse 70, 300 m2 photovoltaic panels
• University Square 3a, 630 m2 photovoltaic panels
… the photovoltaic systems at the University of Graz can cover the annual electricity consumption of about 45 households?
Since summer 2019, the university’s own photovoltaic system covering around 630 m2 and with an output of 114.6 kWp has been in operation on the roof of the university library at Universitätsplatz 3a. In the summer of 2020, around 300 m2 of the roof area of Merangasse 70 was fitted with photovoltaic panels. The photovoltaic system at Merangasse 70 has an output of 72.2 kWp.
The photovoltaic systems of the University of Graz produced 177 MWh of photovoltaic energy in 2020. This means that the annual electricity consumption of 45 Austrian households* can be covered.
* Based on the annual electricity consumption of Austrian households in kWh with an average consumption of 3,964 kWh/year (Statistik Austria, 2021)
The roofs at University of Graz have been generating solar power since 2008. The expansion of solar energy began in 2007. Meanwhile, not only solar thermal systems, but also photovoltaic systems are producing energy at the University of Graz.
Solar thermal systems:
• Max-Mell-Allee 11, 200 m2 net collector area
• Universitätsplatz 1, 630 m2 net collector area
… the solar thermal systems at the University of Graz can supply the annual heat consumption of about 55 households?
The two solar thermal systems produce hot water and solar cooling. The facility at the University Sports Institute (USI) at Max-Mell-Allee 11 has a net collector area of 200 m2. The solar thermal system at Universitätsplatz 1, with an area of 631.5 m2, was commissioned in 2014.
In 2020, the University of Graz produced 278 MWh of solar energy. Converted, this can cover the annual heat consumption of 55 households. *
* Based on the annual heat consumption of Austrian households in kWh with an average consumption of 5,066 kWh/year (Statistik Austria, 2016)