National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) reached a milestone as they passed their energy saving target a year ahead of schedule.
NUIG is partnered with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and was the first university in Ireland to join the SEAI Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Network.
SEAI CEO Jim Gannon signed an agreement which stated NUIG’s commitment to reduce emissions by 33 percent by 2020.
The university has already reached this target, achieving savings of 34 percent. They did this with the help of funding from SEAI, which they used for LED lighting projects, solar photovoltaic, energy efficient mechanical plant and electric vehicle charging points around campus.
The university has proactively been trying to lower their emissions, save energy and improve their energy efficiency since 2006.
In an article posted on the NUIG website, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Since 2006 the University has been very proactive in reducing energy consumption across the campus.”
“I would like to acknowledge the University’s staff and students who have assisted with our Buildings and Estates department in exceeding the 33% target through ongoing energy awareness campaigns and energy upgrade projects on campus, thus helping NUI Galway lead by example to achieve greater energy reductions by 2020 on campus,” he added.
NUI Galway have three research centres that are focused on sustainable energy, including the MaREI Centre, The Energy Research Centre (ERC) and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.
The Martin Ryan Institute on NUIG Campus aims to engage in research, education and outreach in Energy and Environment fields.
NUIG has previously been given the title of the greenest college campus in Ireland.
There is a NUI Galway Energy Society in which many of the NUIG students take part in. The society runs an annual Energy Summit, this summit is the first and only national energy conference in Ireland that is run entirely by students.
Following the passing of this milestone, the university is continuing to strive to save energy and cut down emissions. Their goal now is to reach 40 percent in savings by the original deadline of 2020