NUI Galway sets out to conserve energy in line with the 2030 Climate Action Plan

The NUI Galway’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 commits to ‘embrace proven new technologies to increase our buildings’ energy efficiency and Building Energy Rating;  to set ourselves ambitious targets in the areas of sustainable energy and carbon mitigation and to develop a roadmap to move ambitiously towards carbon neutrality by 2030’.The NUI Galway Sustainability Strategy 2021-2025 sets out our strategic aim with regard to Energy & Greenhouse Gas emissions  ‘to lead the way in reducing energy consumption in new and refurbished buildings, measuring and reporting energy use, implementing energy-saving initiatives, investing in renewable energy sources and reinvesting energy cost savings in new sustainability technologies’.

Reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are top priorities.  We aim to develop the campus as a resource-efficient sustainable energy community.  As outlined in both the NUI Galway Energy Policy and in the NUI Galway Statement of Fundamentals we operate an Energy Management System which complies in every respect with all legal requirements related to our energy use and to have this system externally certified by an independent body. We achieved ISO 50001 status in 2012, and became ISO 50001:2018 Certified in 2020 meaning NUI Galway operates to an internationally recognised Energy Management System standard aligned to the UN SDGS, enabling us to establish systems and processes necessary to improve energy performance, efficiency, use and consumption.  

NUI Galway is committed to meeting the new Energy and Carbon targets set out in the Government Climate Action Plan of 2020 to 2030. The Government’s new 2019 Climate Action Plan has now increased the level of ambition to a 50% improvement in public sector energy efficiency and a 30% reduction in CO2e1 from the sector by 2030. However, NUI Galway signed a Public Sector Energy Partnership agreement with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)  which committed the University to lead by example to meet and exceed this public sector energy efficiency improvement target of 33% energy reduction by 2020.  Achieved by reducing energy use in new and refurbished buildings, measuring and reporting energy use, implementing energy-saving initiatives, investing in renewable energy sources and reinvesting energy cost savings in new sustainability technologies. In 2018, two years ahead of schedule, our total energy consumption had gone down by 34% from the baseline, by 2019 we reached 40%, thus exceeding the National Government target of 33% energy efficiency by 2020.

An annual Energy Review is carried out to comply with the requirements of the ISO5001: 2018 Energy Management System (EnMS) standard, clause is 6.3. The main purpose of this energy review is to analyse NUI Galway’s energy usage and consumption based on the measurement and other data i.e. the identification of current types of energy use, the evaluation of past and present energy usage and the analysis and identification of the Significant Energy Users (SEUs). 

There are a number of research centres based in NUI Galway focused on sustainable energy - MaREI Centre, The Ryan Institute Energy Research Centre (ERC), and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. The Ryan Institute aims to engage in research, education and outreach in the fields of Energy and Environment.

NUI Galway is also the first university in Ireland to join the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Network. Many of our students are active in the NUI Galway Energy Society and the society runs an annual Energy Summit, which is the first and only national energy conference in Ireland run entirely by students.

See below the Energy-Related projects completed on NUI Galway's campus in 2020

Energy Projects 2020