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CERN to implement additional energy-saving measures for 2022–2023

Artist’s impression of the CERN Data Centre in Prévessin
Artist’s impression of the CERN Data Centre in Prévessin, scheduled to come online in 2023, with energy efficiency at its core. (Image: + IMGS - Rocco Valantines)

In light of the current global energy supply and cost crisis, and as part of its social responsibility, CERN will be implementing measures that will significantly reduce the Laboratory’s energy consumption in 2022 and 2023.

The 2022 year-end-technical stop (YETS) will start on 28 November, two weeks earlier than initially planned, and the operation of the accelerator complex will be reduced by 20% in 2023. Plans have also been developed with the French electricity supplier, Électricité de France (EDF), for reduced-power configurations to cope with possible load shedding in the coming months. In addition, various measures are being developed to save energy on the CERN sites. These include switching off the street lighting overnight, delaying by one week the start of building heating and optimising it during the entire winter season.

Since well before the current energy crisis, as part of its wider strategy to improve sustainability, CERN has been actively working to reduce its electricity consumption. The energy performance measures implemented over the past decade have already brought about a 10% reduction in the Laboratory’s energy consumption. These range from optimising cooling systems in CERN’s data centre to renovating beamline facilities for more efficient use of the equipment and reduced loss of beam and energy.

Several environmental projects have been approved and are in the pipeline. CERN’s new data centre, scheduled to come online in the final quarter of 2023, is being built with energy efficiency at its core, including the possibility of recovering heat from the centre to heat other buildings on the CERN site. The heat produced by one of the LHC facilities is already set to be used to heat buildings in the nearby town of Ferney-Voltaire. CERN has formed an innovation partnership with ABB with the aim of reducing energy consumption by optimising its cooling and ventilation systems. CERN is also investigating the potential for using renewable energy sources, in particular photovoltaic sources placed both on and off site.

At the end of 2021, CERN formally committed to establishing an energy management system in accordance with the ISO 50001 standard. To this end, it has submitted a five-year energy performance plan to the French authorities aimed at further optimising the Laboratory’s energy consumption.