CHP key to low-carbon strategy
David Somervell, Energy and Sustainability Manager,
University of Edinburgh
Founded in 1583 as the Tounis College (town’s college), the University of Edinburgh in Scotland is
one of the largest and most esteemed universities
in the United Kingdom. By the 18th century, the university had established a world reputation, which it retains
today. It boasts a long line of famous alumni – from Sir
Walter Scott to Charles Darwin – and notable rectors,
including Winston Churchill. Given its venerable past,
not to mention its historic landmark architecture, the
University of Edinburgh may seem a bastion of tradition.
Yet the institution is wide-ranging in its teaching and
research activities and stands at the forefront of development in many subjects – including medicine, microelectronics, biotechnology and climate change.
The University of Edinburgh also has distinguished
itself as a leader in energy and sustainability practices.
Ahead of other universities in the U.K., Edinburgh
launched an ‘environmental initiative’ in 1990 that
evolved into a comprehensive energy and sustainability
program. This program’s efforts have dramatically
improved campus energy efficiency, saved money and
slashed carbon dioxide emissions. A major component of
the sustainability agenda has been the introduction of
three campus ‘energy centers,’ or combined heat and
power installations, an investment of £ 12 million (more
than $22.7 million) since 2002. Widely recognized for
its outstanding commitment to energy efficiency, the
University of Edinburgh was honored in 2004 with a
Green Energy Award for Best Environmental Initiative,
bestowed by Scottish Renewables, an association representing Scotland’s renewable energy industry interests.