11December 2022 ESRFnews
What else can be done now and in the future? Nevo and his colleagues have drawn up a list of actions for further energy savings, including the installation of automatic light switches and external insulation, as well as reducing central- heating temperatures. In all, they hope to save a further 4% in energy usage this winter, increasing to 10% by 2024 (see Fig. 1). But there are ways the ESRF is improving energy efficiency besides focusing on its own carbon footprint. It can share its knowledge and expertise with other research facilities and industries. And it can promote research in related fields, including catalysis, new materials, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries. It s not just about saving energy, says Nevo. It s about sustainability in general.
concern. More recently, the energy crisis sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a sobering impact on energy costs for all major research facilities. In September, the ESRF hosted the latest biennial workshop on Energy for Sustainable Science at Research Infrastructures (ESSRI 2022), alongside representatives from the European particle-physics lab CERN on the Franco-Swiss border, the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden, the German particle- physics lab DESY in Hamburg, the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and the European Association of National Research Facilities, to discuss progress and challenges. There is a common feeling that we all have to do more, says Christian Nevo, the ESRF s head of TID. All of the facilities want to be part of this process and to support it, because it is important for broader society.
Why is energy such a big concern? Like all major light sources, the ESRF is not just a cluster of buildings. It is a particle accelerator that has to drive electrons to near-light speed and this requires substantial amounts of energy. The last official breakdown, produced in 2018, showed that over half of all electricity consumption directly maintains the accelerator complex, while a third goes towards support systems, such as water cooling and ventilation, as well as the beamlines, labs and data centres. More conventional electricity expenditures, such as lighting and office equipment, make up just 10 15% of the total.
And what is the total? In 2018, the ESRF used 65GWh of electricity and 8GWh of hot water (for heating) but that was when the original storage ring was in place. Commissioned in 2020, the new EBS was designed with energy efficiency in mind: the use of permanent magnets, which do not require power to function, and greater optimisation of the electromagnets and power supply, meant an immediate 20% saving in electricity, despite 100-fold gains in X-ray brilliance and coherence. Meanwhile, the ESRF s technical infrastructure division (TID) has worked on other energy-saving measures, such as the installation of LED lighting and the replacement of fixed with variable-speed pumps for machine cooling. As a result, the ESRF s electricity usage this year went down by 14GW, or 22%, compared with the 2018 value.
Does it need to do more? Definitely. Climate-change, driven by the combustion of fossil fuels for energy generation, is an ever-present
To tackle climate change and the energy crisis, the ESRF is on a long mission to reduce its carbon footprint.
Cutting the ESRF s carbon footprint
C H R IS TI A N N E VO
Figure 1. Due to the inherent efficiency of the new EBS, as well as various other measures, the ESRF s electricity and hot water consumption dropped from 72.6 GWh in 2018 to 60.9 GWh in 2022, and is expected to fall to 55.6 GWh by 2024.
The new EBS was designed with energy efficiency in mind