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How Are Campuses Harnessing Renewable Energy? New Report Tracks Trends in Higher Ed
July 26, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDTFree
As a whole, campuses are getting more energy efficient. But space growth counter-weighs these gains. Hundreds of campuses have onsite solar. But the arrays are small, and sometimes the SCRECs are cashed in to finance the projects, thus making little or no difference in greenhouse gas emissions claims. These efforts are steps in the right direction but, according to a new report by the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute and Edison Energy, they are insufficient compared to the progress needed to meet climate action goals and make a meaningful contribution to slowing climate catastrophe. One more trend is the emerging tactic of swapping dirty “brown” electricity for “green” power through large-scale, offsite power purchase agreements (PPAs). Join this webinar to hear the report authors take a sober look at these trends and discuss the strategies needed to get higher education on track to tackle climate change.
Chris O’Brien, Director – Higher Education Programs, Edison Energy
As Director of Sustainability at American University, Chris was responsible for all sustainability functions, including the university’s commitment to climate-neutrality by the year 2020. He executed three power purchase agreements (PPAs), including a megawatt of onsite solar PV and solar thermal, and a 53 megawatt offsite solar PV project, which was the largest non-utility PPA in higher education at the time. Chris teaches about energy, climate, carbon markets and sustainable purchasing the AU Kogod School of Business’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management.
At Edison Energy, Chris shares what he learned at AU with other colleges and universities across North America, helping the higher education sector catalyze the transformation of America’s electricity supply to clean and renewable sources. He is also a founding board director of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, and serves on the AASHE STARS Advisory Committee.
Jennifer Andrews, Project Director, Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire
Jennifer Andrews is a Project Director in the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire. In addition to her work coordinating UNH’s implementation of its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, Jenn supports a variety of national efforts to enhance climate action and leadership within higher education; she has spent the past 17 years working on carbon accounting and carbon management strategies and solutions for colleges and universities, as well as municipalities and businesses. Both at UNHSI and in her previous role at the nonprofit Clean Air-Cool Planet, Jenn has overseen the development and continued evolution of the Campus Carbon Calculator and CarbonMAP tools—which collectively are used by more than 80% of the institutions of higher education that publicly report their carbon footprints. She also created and continues to oversee the Sustainability Fellows program.
Dovev Levine, Assistant Dean, University of New Hampshire’s Graduate School
Dovev Levine is the Assistant Dean for the University of New Hampshire’s Graduate School, and a Research Associate for the UNH Sustainability Institute (UNHSI). Dovev’s work at UNHSI includes projects and research related to climate change, renewable energy and other sustainability-related issues. Dovev also serves as a Staff Fellow with the UNH Provost’s Office. Dovev has been with UNH since 2003, and earned both his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees there.