Sustainability Assessment: Offsetting Carbon Emissions from Energy Use at the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC)
AbstractMitigation of climate change and development of ecological practices is an important goal in religious organizations. Current work aims in the investigation of the possibility of offsetting the net carbon emissions due to energy use in the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC), Greece. Energy generated by fossil fuels and renewable energy sources is currently used in the premises of the Academy. The total annual energy consumption and the energy sources currently used in the religious organization are initially estimated. Various future scenarios are investigated regarding energy consumption in the Academy, energy sources used and their carbon emissions, as well as the possibility of carbon emissions sequestration with various tree plantations. The annual energy consumption in the Academy has been estimated at 264,257 KWh while its energy consumption per covered area is 31.31 KWh/m2. Among various energy sources used, electricity has the highest share at 95.76%, while 32.47% of the overall energy consumption is currently generated by a solar-PV system installed on-site. It is indicated that the combined use of energy-saving techniques and technologies, the higher use of various renewable energy sources and the sequestration of any remaining carbon emissions with tree plantations could eliminate all carbon emissions due to energy use in the Academy. The most appropriate sustainable energy technologies are solar-thermal, solar-PV and high efficiency heat pumps which are currently mature, reliable and cost-effective. Additionally olive tree orchards, carob tree orchards and Eucalyptus tree plantations could be created for carbon emissions sequestration. It has been concluded that with the reduction of the current energy consumption by 20%, the installation of a solar-PV system at 50 KWp, and the creation of an olive tree orchard at 14 ha, the net annual carbon emissions due to energy use in the Academy could be eliminated. The results indicate the way that the Orthodox Academy of Crete could zero its impacts on climate change due to energy use in its premises.
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