Vision on energy

Vision on Energy of the University of Twente


The University of Twente wishes to lay down its vision on energy for the coming years in a policy document. There are several reasons for this:


The UT has signed the Long-term Agreement on Energy Efficiency 3 (MJA 3). The term of the MJA 3 is from 2005 – 2020. In this period energy savings of 30% are to be realised, in which context 20% is to be realised within the organisation itself and 10% in the chain. In addition, clause 3.8 requires all MJA participants to draw up a road map for a strategic vision for 2030;


Route 14 sets high ambitions; an essential part of which is a sound energy policy. More specifically Route 14 refers to the campus as a living laboratory: the UT wishes to use our own energy policy for education in particular, but where possible also for research. Looking for innovative ways of energy supply, but also in the field of operational management and communication. In this context the UT does not restrict itself to its own research. With its campus as a living laboratory the UT also wishes to act as a party for third parties;


At the European level an increasing amount of policy is currently being developed which is directly applicable to the Netherlands. Examples include the European standard for Energy Management, which is currently being developed. This standard is to become a reference document for European (November 2009) and Dutch (April 2010) legislation and regulations. The UT intends to timely meet its statutory obligations;


The university promotes itself as a university with a strong focus on technology. This is in line with an advanced energy supply;


The UT is a civil society organisation. This implies certain social responsibilities, including the responsible use of energy. Especially as an entrepreneurial, innovative university the UT serves as an example to others in this area. As starting point in this context can be used the three pillars of energy policy:

Based on the above three pillars of the energy issue the following matters are involved:


Image of the UT: this involves an innovative, entrepreneurial university. How to reflect this in our energy policy? How to use this in our communication, for example in recruiting new students?


Market/price: the price of raw materials for energy will only increase in the future. At the moment the UT purchases energy through third parties and is therefore subject to market fluctuations. An alternative is to partly meet our energy requirements ourselves, which is linked to:


Energy supply security: this involves safeguarding our operational management and the primary process: how can the UT ensure that the primary process can continue uninterruptedly? Does it wish to be fully dependent on third parties for this or does it wish to partly meet its own energy requirements by means of (innovative) measures?


In addition, the UT is a large-scale consumer of energy. This also creates a responsibility to make responsible use of energy and to develop a sound policy in order to achieve this.

Starting points

In order to arrive at a vision on energy, it is useful to first formulate the starting points for such an energy policy. These constitute the framework within which the vision and the policy can be given shape.

The first starting point is that the UT has a guaranteed energy supply so that the primary process; education and research, can continue uninterrupted at all times.

The second starting point concerns the way in which the UT wishes to be innovative in this area. Trias Energetica shows how an organisation handles energy: does the organisation find itself among the stragglers, the middle group or is it a trendsetter?


Stragglers take energy saving measures: this is obligatory due to all kinds of legislation anyway;


With respect to energy efficiency the organisation examines how to get as much as possible from the energy consumed. This goes one step further than energy savings measures;


Making use of sustainable sources of energy means looking for new ways of generating energy. Such measures can earn an organisation a place among the trendsetters.

The UT wishes to make use of a wide mix, in which context it will be critically examined whether something is feasible and realistic. It is important that several focal points are defined which clearly reflect the diversity of the UT. This prevents us from implementing measures in too many areas at once. In this way the UT wishes to present itself as a trendsetter in a number of areas.

This means that not all the measures the UT applies have to be financially profitable from the start, but for example may also contribute to the UT's PR. It will be considered per project/measure to what extent it contributes to an innovative energy policy, what the costs and benefits are and whether it is realistic to take these measures and whether the primary process is interrupted by such measures.

The third starting point is that the development and implementation of the policy is to take place in consultation with the various stakeholders. These can be found both within the UT (Executive Board, management units, chair holders, students, Facility Department staff, group directorate staff) as well as externally. The external stakeholders are quite diverse. These involve, for example, the government, the 3 TU.Federation, suppliers and the local region.

The UT wishes to play a role in the development of the local region, which is reflected, for example, in Route 14. The region offers many opportunities for examining and developing the use of sustainable energy in cooperation with one another. The campus can act as a laboratory for new ideas in this context; not only for UT projects, but also for other developments in the region. Within the 3 TU.Federation sustainable energy is one of the subjects for closer cooperation. In addition, energy suppliers are also interested in looking for new possibilities together with the UT.

The fourth starting point is in line with item 3: the UT has extensive expertise which can be used in developing and implementing the energy policy. The UT wishes to make a more active use of this expertise than it has done so far. Cooperation will take place not only in technology working groups, but also in the area of management science and behavioural sciences. Because there is often too large a gap in this context between research and usability, this will primarily be given shape in the form of educational assignments. By means of this student participation the UT hopes to get the students more involved in the university as a community. This can also be given shape by hiring internal knowledge for projects instead of involving external organisations.

The fifth starting point is that the savings have to be made visible by quantifying these. Direct energy savings show up in the invoice, but also indirect savings are to be made visible. Indirect savings for example through measures in the chain are to feature more and more prominently in energy legislation and regulations. In order to properly identify this, the UT wishes to express these savings in CO2-saving equivalents in due course. These CO2 equivalents saved will be used as a standard for the degree of sustainability of the UT. A smaller consumption of fossil fuels and a more efficient use of sustainable sources of energy (such as wind, solar energy and biomass) strongly contribute to this. Important in this context is that the UT not only wishes to save energy, but also wishes to handle energy in a different way by examining different uses and other sources of energy. This requires prior investments.

The last point for attention involves communication. This is essential if the UT wishes to be a trendsetter in several areas as far as energy is concerned. Reasons for this are:


Good examples in practice have more impact than documents setting out a vision;


Attractive university for students and new staff members (studies show that the younger generations are very keen on a sustainable working environment);


Practice what you preach, and show this as well;


Good communication on innovative projects makes the UT an attractive joint-venture partner.

The basis for this is a clear communications plan, which clearly describes per target group what the objectives of the communications are and how these are to be realised.

In sum, the UT uses the following starting points for its energy policy:


Guaranteed energy supply against the best costs and benefits. When using new, innovative methods of energy supply the present structure will remain in place as a back-up;


Through a mix of measures within the Trias Energetica the UT wishes to become a trendsetter. This means that the UT is prepared to make additional investments, but that a sound costs/benefits analysis is to be made per project/measure and that an assessment is made of the operational reliability;


Internal and external stakeholders play a major part in the development and implementation of the energy policy. This results in the UT making active use of the opportunities for collaboration, in particular in the local region;


Making use of the UT's own expertise;


Using a method in which both direct and indirect savings are expressed in CO2 equivalents, thus making these visible;


Informing the right parties in the right way and finding and linking the right partners (internal and external) by means of a sound communications strategy.

Energy mission of the UT

The starting points can be summarised as follows in the energy mission of the UT:

The University of Twente is an entrepreneurial university which takes its responsibility towards society seriously. Therefore its energy policy is advanced, with room for innovative measures, which it realises in cooperation with internal and external stakeholders.


The short-term steps for 2010 are:


an exploratory survey into the innovative application of possibilities and how to fit these into a total picture for 2020, with a look-through for 2050, for the energy supply;


A costs/benefits analysis of these roadmaps;


Planning for a systematic implementation and ultimate realisation of the roadmap(s) opted for.

Promising options envisaged for study on the short term include:


optimisation of the existing monitoring plan of the UT (already started);


a study into cogeneration applications;


a study into absorption cooling (heat >> cold) applications;


a study into a water treatment plant of our own on the grounds of the UT (already started);


a study into the application of LED lighting (already conducted);


a study into energy savings with respect to the swimming pool (already conducted);


a study into alternative sources of cooling water and geotechnical engineering (sources of heat);


the use of heat buffering;


enlarging the contents of the existing cold buffer.

Important in both the context of plan development and implementation is proper coordination with other activities which contribute to a sustainable campus. In order to realise this there will be regular consultation with the steering group sustainable campus.


In the Executive Board resolution of 6 May 2008 an annual working budget for the energy coordinator of k€70 was adopted for the period of 2008 up to and including 2011. This budget is to be used for current matters and financing (preparatory) studies. The budget is not intended for the implementation of special projects (for example the realisation of a water treatment plant of our own if this plan is approved). For special projects a separate financing application per project is to be submitted.

In order to also realise energy projects after 2011, the energy coordinator will retain the working budget of k€70, which amount will be indexed on an annual basis. This budget is explicitly intended for preparatory studies for the projects. In order to realise the financing of the projects, these are to be separately submitted to the Executive Board.