Taiwan’s First Net Zero Energy Campus Announced at UN Climate Meeting

Net Zero Energy School

The Delta Electronics Foundation, at the United Nations climate meeting in Lima, Peru, announced that the Namasia Elementary School, which they helped rebuild after typhoon Morakot in 2009, will achieve net zero energy consumption for the whole campus by the middle of next year. It will be the first of its kind in Taiwan, a green building that functions both as a school and as a disaster shelter for the indigenous community of 300 people for up to a week.

Delta co-hosted a side event with the World Resources Institute and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation at the United Nations climate meeting in Lima, Peru on the 11th of December. The theme of the event was ‘Integrated Climate Risk Management for a Resilient World’, with an emphasis on mountainous nations. Delta presented its successful rebuilding of Namasia, highlighting the energy-saving architectural designs that were adopted. The campus implemented a passive design where natural lighting and ventilation is utilized to save energy. 10kWp of solar panels were installed when Namasia was launched. It achieved an EUI of 6.7kWh/m2-yr in 2013, which qualified Namasia to become the most energy efficient school in Taiwan. This June, Delta added an additional 12kWp of solar panels and anticipates the school will achieve ‘net-zero’ energy consumption by the middle of next year.

Thirteen other schools faced similar damage from the same typhoon in 2009. Almost all were covered by massive landslides from the 2,300 mm of rain in 48 hours. Delta’s adoption and rebuilding of Namasia was a challenging responsibility with cooperation from numerous stakeholders, including but not limited to the central government, local NGOs, geological experts and green architects. The project finally came to fruition when it was launched three years later, in 2012 — the new campus is now a green ark that safeguards the entire village of 300 people for up to a week, in the most remote mountainous area of Taiwan.

At the side event, many of the panelists, including the Minister of the Environment of Tuvalu, the Minister of the Environment of the Netherlands, as well as the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the World Bank were intrigued, and impressed by Delta’s adaptation efforts.

Two days prior to the side event, Delta was also invited to host a two-hour event that opened with the documentary on Namasia, a film produced by the National Geographic Channel. It was screened at the Mountain and Water Pavilion (MWP), which is part of the ‘Voices for Climate’ venue. The MWP is a special exhibition organized by the United Nations Secretariat to raise awareness on climate change and the relevance of COP20.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.