Universities warn they won’t be able to cope with rising energy prices – EFE News


Barcelona (EFE) Services de Catalunya (CSUC), which opened a new tender as the current contract ends in 2022.

Faced with this situation and fearing that the price of energy could triple or quadruple, Catalan universities informed Efe that they had transferred their “great concern” to the Ministry of Research and Universities, to which they asked to apply a confrontation plan with additional funds within the framework of the negotiation of the 2023 budget.

To cope with the increase in the cost of energy, the Minister of Research and Universities, Joaquim Nadal, asked yesterday in the parliamentary committee “additional resources and a specific plan from the government”, since the increase “will affect also the rest of the ministries”.

The universities said it was difficult to accurately estimate the amount of the energy bill in 2023 because it will depend on the economic conditions agreed with the companies that won the tender launched by the CSUC.

The University of Barcelona, ​​which with some 62,000 students is the one with the most students in Catalonia, foresees an additional cost of 19 million euros due to the increase in the price of energy, but is convinced that It will be able to reduce this impact both in the call for tenders that it promotes CSUC and in the implementation of energy saving measures.

The Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), for its part, has calculated that in 2023 the price of electricity, “in the worst case”, could be multiplied by 5.74 and that of gas by 7.45. compared to the price of 2022.

These amounts “are unaffordable for public universities” and in the case of the UPC “they force them to prepare unrealistic budgets, because the income to cover the additional energy cost is not guaranteed”, they added from the university.

In order to reduce energy consumption and be able to cope with rising prices, the UPC Board of Directors approved on October 27 an energy saving program with measures such as the gradual substitution gas boilers for more efficient systems and improvements in roof insulation and windows.

If the media has its maximum temperature of the heated spaces at 19ºC and minimum temperature of the refrigerated spaces at 27ºC, even if the buildings are not equipped with thermal control systems, the UPC will activate the heating from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. in winter.

The University of Lleida (UdL), for its part, has calculated that it will continue to pay in the range of 1.6 million euros (average figure for recent years) to around 6.6 million, an amount that she deemed ‘completely unaffordable unless additional funds are secured.

This university has drawn up an energy saving plan that includes the installation of self-consumption photovoltaic panels on the roofs of buildings, increasing the already existing self-consumption power from 300 kWp to 550 kWp.

It also replaces traditional lights with more efficient lights that feature LED technology and motion sensors to turn off lights in unused spaces.

The Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) has estimated that energy expenditure will quadruple and to reduce energy consumption it has indicated that it is improving exterior insulation, adjusting ambient temperatures and turning on and off air conditioning installations and lighting according to the occupation of the spaces.

In terms of renewable energies, the UAB indicated that it was “strongly deploying” photovoltaic solar energy since in 2022 it tendered three installations for an amount of 500,000 euros.

For the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the increase in the cost of energy could mean allocating 5% of the university’s budget to this chapter, which “is a very high cost”.

The UPF has indicated that it is working on an energy saving plan which has not yet been formally approved and which includes measures such as the installation of photovoltaic panels, the continuation of the installation of lighting LED or the reduction of hours in some buildings, and assured that “under no circumstances We will close any installation.”

The University of Girona (UdG) predicts that the price of energy will multiply by a coefficient between 2.9 over a stable horizon of four years and 5.8 over a horizon of one year.

To reduce energy consumption, this university is deploying the “Strategic Greening Plan” although with “limited” scope for action since it has declared that it is one of the most efficient in terms of savings energy in Spain.

Calculating an energy price 60% higher than the current one, the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona-Reus (URV) said it was taking measures such as “closing classes and buildings, postponing heating and the installation of more efficient energy sources.

Finally, the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) said that the current cost of energy could be multiplied by 4, which “would have a very important impact on the planning and the budget for 2023 and would imply reviewing the actions and planned projects”.

This university declared that it had initiated improvement and energy efficiency plans such as the adaptation of timetables, investments in the renewal of equipment for more efficient ones or the installation of photovoltaic panels as well as other measures which are in the initial phase but who “not able to absorb all the increased costs”.


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