On-site renewable energy
Colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to employ on-site renewable energy because they have under singular control all the elements needed for whole-systems design. They have: a hierarchical administrative structure (which can serve to bridge the silo-like nature of academic disciplines); operational policies (which can serve to integrate the incentives for operational energy conservation with the budgeting for capital improvements); an inventory of campus buildings of wide-ranging vintage; an extensive energy conversion/distribution infrastructure; and measurable acreage of unoccupied land. In addition, they interact with a near-surround community of citizens who value the economic impact of their local institution but at the same time often feel quite separated from its day-to-day operation. The only way to engage this opportunity effectively is to look to the long term; to understand
the roles and influences of the members of the academic community and the near-surround public community by integratingmore fully the institution’s capital facilities planningwith its operational academic planning – in strategic five-year cycles.