Oxford Brookes explores carbon-free electricity

ENTRNCE helps Oxford Brookes explore carbon-free energy using simulation tool.

In partnership with technology innovator ENTRNCE, the university has simulated various scenarios in which a mixture of onsite and contracted energy could match the university’s electricity consumption with carbon-free electricity (CFE) sources, every 30 minutes of every day.

The research was informed by ENTRNCE’s Matcher, a data platform which aligns real-time electricity demand with clean energy sources.

The analysis provides full transparency of Oxford Brookes’ energy consumption, including how well consumption has historically been met by carbon-free energy sources, every 30 minutes – giving the university’s energy team a clean energy ‘score’.

It can then model different clean energy scenarios, providing insight and data to establish if investments in additional clean tech will move the university closer to 24/7 CFE. For Oxford Brookes, the results reveal an optimum mix of locally-sourced corporate PPAs (wind and solar), onsite renewables and energy storage.

24/7 CFE has not yet been achieved by any large organisation. However, it is emerging as an exemplar for decarbonisation strategies – with significant precedence in the USA. For example, Microsoft, Google and the United States Government (the nation’s largest energy user) have all committed to 24/7 CFE by 2030.

Jaron Reddy, UK & Ireland Manager at ENTRNCE, said:

We are delighted to support Oxford Brookes University’s first foray into 24/7 carbon-free energy (CFE). Not only does this position the university as a frontrunner on climate action, it gives them the tools they need to limit their exposure to rising REGO costs and volatile wholesale electricity market prices – and prepare for tightening regulation on carbon reporting and greenwashing. This approach sets a fantastic blueprint for other universities to follow.

Gavin Hodgson, Decarbonisation Strategic Lead at Oxford Brookes University, said:

Oxford Brookes has set an ambitious target to reach Net Zero by 2040. To achieve our ambitions it is important that we have a clearer understanding of the shape of our consumption portfolio. This allows us to target our investments in clean technologies and optimise our blend of on-site and remote generation renewable energy sources. ENTRNCE’s analysis has given us precise visibility over our carbon emissions and allowed us to simulate a future clean energy mix that will achieve our sustainability goals.

Paul Spencer, Carbon Reduction Manager at Oxford Brookes University, said:

We wanted to take a transparent and meaningful approach to carbon reduction – and the gold standard is 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy (CFE), which requires that every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed be met with carbon-free electricity sources, every hour of every day. The robust data and analysis provided by ENTRNCE is a great first step and will be extremely useful for future energy procurement decision making.

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