United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center Champaign United States
The influence of increasing oil prices, the effects of climate change, and the desire to become independent of fossil fuel imports have stimulated many countries and their communities to set ambitious goals to reduce energy use and to increase the relative amount of energy derived from renewable energy sources. The most ambitious goal is to become net-zero relative to fossil fuels or to employ the concept of the energy neutral communitycampus. Essentially, both terms denote an energy configuration in which the amount of fossil fuel-based energy used over the course of a year is equal to the amount of energy derived from renewable energy sources that is exported from the communitycampus to a power or thermal grid for external users consumption. Under ideal circumstances, the community consumes no fossil fuel-based energy, only energy generated from renewable sources this would require the availability of long-term thermal and power storage systems. The achievement of such energy goals in economical and physically realistic ways would require new, unconventional approaches with respect to organization, implementation, funding, and technical decisions. The technical approach involves the emphasis on energy conservation, implementation of energy efficiency measures, use of waste energy streams, reduction of fossil fuel-based energy if needed,andor complementation or replacement of fossil fuel-based energy with energy derived from renewable sources. This paper explores approaches used by some of the most innovative International Energy Agency IEA countries to develop an ideal road map and transition process to reach net-zero or near net-zero energy targets analyzes best practices in different countries to provide the best examples of net-zero applications across the globe and, based on an analysis of solutions using front-running methods and technologies, makes recommendations for energy master planning towards net-zero communities and campuses.
Journal Article - Open Access
ASHRAE Transactions, 120, 1, 01 Jan 0001, 01 Jan 0001,