Global population growth has caused a huge increase in the global energy consumption. This has led to a saturation of natural ecosystems and problems for human health, including economic and social costs.
UANL has developed a program of efficient energy use to reduce electricity consumption at university facilities, besides raising awareness among its community of the responsible use of this resource in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Office of the Vice President for Sustainable Development has issued technical guidelines to promote efficient energy use at university facilities, implementing almost imperceptible changes; for example, adjusting air conditioning temperature to 24ºC during summer and 20ºC during winter this represents huge savings.
Natural light can lead to substantial energy savings. Daylight in buildings is now a major priority and new facilities have been built based on this.
Turn off the light and computer equipment before leaving the room, set screensaver off, use laptop computers, which use about half the energy of the equivalent desktop PC, activate power saving mode, and use LCD monitors are some positive practices to protect the environment.
Reports on energy saving progress are published every six months to inform students and academic staff about the success of community efforts.
In order to promote efficient energy use, The Vice Presidency of Sustainability has developed five technical guidelines that guide and evaluate the policies applied at each UANL entity. For instance, the “technical guidelines on air conditioning equipment” and the “technical guidelines on classroom lighting” have directly prompted the decrease in electricity consumption, since such equipment represent 75 percent of the university’s total energy use.
The proper regulation of energy use has been accomplished as a result of UANL’s daily actions. Although enrollment increased 34 percent over the last six years—going from 141,971 in 2011 to 190,169 in 2016—energy use showed no significant change because electricity consumption per capita decreased 20 percent—from 615 to 493 kWh during the same period.
Society’s awareness of the importance of renewable energy is growing every day. This effective alternative helps fight climate change and enables the socio-economic development based on renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy is a clean eco-friendly alternative for the future that reduces human health risks. It is therefore imperative to integrate this type of technology into the social, industrial, and higher education sectors.
In this regard, UANL is in the initial implementation of renewable energy, despite the sizable investment required due to its large facilities and the payback period expected. Nevertheless, several university entities have installed electric and thermal power generation systems by means of solar panels, wind turbines, and thermal power technologies.
Furthermore, UANL is currently requesting the administrative and legal consulting in order to generate renewable energy at a low costa and with great environmental benefits.