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Workshop for Renewable Energy – 2-8-13

Workshop for Renewable Energy

February 8, 2013

For those of you who weathered the elements to attend our February 8th workshop, we thank you.  We are disappointed in those of you who decided that your plane cancellation did not require you to walk to the workshop!  We appreciated all of the hard work of the presenters, and the good questions that were asked not only by those present but also by those who were listening to the webinar. We expect that these PowerPoint presentations from the workshop will be useful.

- Deborah Howard, Director of Sustainability

Renewable Energy and SUNY

SUNY is working towards reducing our overall fossil fuel consumption by 30% based on outside gross square footage and reducing our total greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. SUNY needs all hands on deck for this goal, and one key arrow in our quiver has to be renewable energy, whether sited on or off our campuses. We cannot keep growing and rely only on energy efficiency and reduction measures. Installing or utilizing renewable energy sources also helps support an emerging industry. 

Besides SUNY’s energy goals, we also have Executive Order 88, which is Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY initiative that holistically examines how energy is used, including that lost in generation, transmission and distribution. This highlights that we should be considering renewable energy projects on or close to our campuses, or having co-generation plants on our campuses, since our energy usage includes all losses along the process. Measures will be evaluated to determine their applicability to the SUNY campuses.

The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee issued its third report (in draft form) highlighting the current as well as future dire effects of climate change.  This report, in addition to Superstorm Sandy, is a call to action. The report is a comprehensive and thoughtful discussion of the consequences of climate change, adaptability suggestions, and most importantly, the heightened mitigation measures we should and can undertake. The time for us to act is now and SUNY needs to be as collaborative as possible, because we have to learn quickly from all of our successes and failures.  The February 8th workshop was a step in trying to help us better understand what we should consider when evaluating renewable energy projects. 

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