Tel Aviv University is to become the first Israeli university powered entirely by solar energy within two years.
The university already has over 5,000 square meters of photovoltaic cells campus rooftops, and it aims to triple this amount, says Gady Frank, the university’s Director-General.
This is part of the university’s 10-year plan of attaining net-zero carbon emissions, which is currently being formulated.
“In addition, we will install storage facilities, which will drastically increase the yield of these solar cells. The rest of the energy would be bought from private suppliers specializing in producing energy solely from green sources.” said Frank.
The solar power pledge follows a comprehensive assessment conducted on all campus greenhouse gas emissions, both direct and indirect.
Tel Aviv University was responsible for greenhouse gas emissions amounting to approximately 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide in 2019, the report shows.
The vast majority of emissions (93 per cent) were indirect, with only seven per cent constituting direct energy-related emissions from the campus, mainly from its air-conditioning systems. Electricity consumption is the most polluting factor, and the biggest source of indirect emissions at 42 per cent.
The report was prepared by the company EcoTraders according to the GHG Protocol – the global standardized framework used to measure greenhouse gas emissions. It includes details of all campus facilities that are owned and operated by the university, including the student dormitories.
The carbon footprint of the university’s suppliers was also assessed – from electricity consumption on campus, to transportation and construction, to the food served at the cafeterias.
“Tel Aviv University has decided to do its modest part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is crucial for addressing the climate crisis. We intend to formulate a methodical and detailed 10-year plan, with the goal of attaining carbon neutrality further down the road,” said Prof. Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University and Chairman of the Green Campus Committee.
“Our hope is to inspire other institutions in Israel and around the world to take similar actions, which, in addition, help educate the next generations about this important subject.”