Greener Behrend: Indicator 2, Renewable Energy

Indicator 2: Develop renewable energy sources for Behrend.

Most of the electricity Behrend purchases comes from coal-powered plants.

Coal-produced electricity is one of the most detrimental types of electricity. The mining process either strips away whole hillsides or sends workers down dangerous mine shafts. Abandoned mining sites are eyesores as well as environmental hazards. The burning of coal to generate electricity releases carbon dioxide into the air. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, whose effects can be seen not only in the haze and bad air quality around cities, but in the erratic weather across the globe.

Fortunately, the advances in alternative/renewable energy sources make a number of other sources feasible.

While Erie County does not receive enough sunlight or wind to develop a system based on one of those sources, it is possible to develop a system utilizing both sources. This system would rely predominately on solar power in the spring/summer and wind power in the fall/winter. Based on the academic calendar (most classes are during fall, winter, and spring months), it would be more efficient to develop a wind-energy system, and augment it later with a solar-energy system.