Campus-Wide Measures Have Greater Potential

Pursuing climate neutrality on research campuses fits into the bigger picture of addressing the impacts of climate change and fossil-fuel depletion. International scientific bodies addressing climate change are calling for reductions of carbon emissions of 80% by 2050.

Because of their size and complexity, research campuses are well positioned to take advantage of campus-wide efficient energy systems. For example, many campuses have thermal and electrical loads that coincide, which makes combined heat and power feasible. And campuses often have skilled operation and maintenance staffs that are capable of managing renewable energy systems.

Achieving a climate-neutral research campus involves much more than technical issues. Instead, it is a systems-integration challenge that requires large-scale capital investments. There are no magic solutions or silver-bullet technologies.