There are a number of good reasons why schools are driving the renewable energy revolution. Cost savings are an important part of the equation. It is also fitting that as learning centers schools lead the way towards a more sustainable energy future. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy is absolutely essential if we are to address climate change. At present the world still gets most of its power from dirty hydrocarbons. There is no reason why we cant transition to renewables like solar, wind and hydro.
Renewable energy is capable of providing for all of the power requirements in the US, Canada Europe and elsewhere. This is an increasingly attractive option in light of declining price points especially in solar power. Advances in renewable energy storage make clean power a viable option. When combined with energy efficiency renewables offer tremendous cost savings.
As explained by Environment America, US institutions of higher education, "can play a leadership role in the fight to prevent the worst impacts of global warming." They call on Colleges and universities across the country to, "aggressively deploy clean energy on campus, setting a goal to meet all their energy needs with clean renewable resources." They specifically outline why college campuses are an ideal setting for renewables.
"As hotspots of innovation and technical expertise, college campuses are the perfect place to implement the programs and technologies that will develop the clean energy technologies of tomorrow and accelerate the transition to a future powered entirely by 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Studies of the electricity system suggest that high penetrations of renewable energy are possible using technologies available today at costs that society can afford. Technological advances – including the development and commercialization of new methods of energy storage – along with continued declines in the price of renewable energy technologies such as solar power and advances in energy efficiency, suggest that a 100 percent renewable energy system can be achieved by 2050."
Here are some resources to help students, faculty and administrators transition their schools to renewable energy. The first part takes the form of ten facts sheets assembled by Environment America, the second is an ebook from the University of Calgary. You can also browse through links to hundreds of related articles in the Green Market Oracle's Green School series (see the bottom of the page).
Click the links below to download each section:
1. On-Campus Solar Energy
2. On-Campus Wind Energy
3. Solar Heating and Hot Water
4. Geothermal Energy
5. Renewable Energy Purchasing
6. Energy Efficiency in Campus Buildings
7. Microgrids and Energy Storage
8. Electric Transportation
9. Sustainable Transportation
10. Energy Conservation
An ebook from the University of Calgary reviews the basics of renewable energy, some of the advantages of different types of renewable energy sources, and how adopting cleaner energy benefits us all in the long run. Click here to sign-up to gain access to the ebook titled, "Renewable energy: Understanding the basics"
Stay tuned for more green school information and resources. From August until the end of October, the Green Market Oracle will feature weekly posts as part of the 2018 edition of the Green School Series which includes links to almost 400 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.
Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources 2010 - 2017