Pledge to Net Zero is the environmental industry’s global commitment, requiring science-based targets to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. A growing number of countries, cities, and businesses are making pledges to get to net-zero emissions.

An essential component of the net-zero emission pledge for businesses is being net-zero on energy that means the firm is producing more energy than it is consuming. Many organizations are talking about going on a net-zero energy path.

The role of R&D centers is significant in the net-zero energy path. While on the one hand, R&D centers are helping develop technologies for net-zero energy. On the other hand, they need to set examples of how these technologies can be implemented to get net-zero results.

Here I found the interesting case study of Mitsubishi Electric’s R&D center in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan, which reduced its primary energy use by 115%, meaning that it created more energy than it consumed in a year.

There are two essential components of net-zero energy R&D center energy savings and energy production. This is how Mitsubishi’s R&D center did it.

  • Energy Savings: Digital Twin of the building was deployed to simulate the use of building equipment, such as air conditioning and lighting, including temperature and brightness, to predict energy consumption and comfort levels for a one-year period. The technology conducted repeated simulations in combination with multi-objective optimization technology using Mitsubishi Electric’s proprietary AI technology Maisart®1 to generate a building operating plan that balanced energy consumption and human comfort.
  •  Energy Creation: Energy was produced through the use of solar panels both at rooftops and pent roofs. It was planned, simulated, and installed so that facility produced more energy than it consumed in a year.

Results: This resulted in energy creation of 571.75MJ/m2, energy consumption of 366.07MJ/m2, and an energy balance of -205.68MJ/m2.

Significance: It demonstrates net-zero energy buildings and R&D centers are possible at a small scale in an urban environment also with intent, planning, and execution.

Bottom Line: We will not reach the net-zero energy state by pledges only. We will reach there by action and setting examples: one organization, one building, one R&D center at a time. Net Zero R&D center can lead the way.


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