A Green Apple for the Teacher

Feb. 29, 2008
By Lisa Cohn By news accounts Barack Obama is all the rage on college campuses these days. But there is another less reported campus movement that could considerably boost the energy efficiency industry. College students nationwide have mounted a serious campaign to clean up the nation’s energy supply. And they are starting in their own […]

By Lisa Cohn

By news accounts Barack Obama is all the rage on college campuses these days. But there is another less reported campus movement that could considerably boost the energy efficiency industry.

College students nationwide have mounted a serious campaign to clean up the nation’s energy supply. And they are starting in their own backyards – or rather dorm rooms. Nudged by these students, college administrations are installing co-generation, switching to more efficient lighting, and undertaking other initiatives to reduce energy use.

Students are not just organizing on their own college campuses, but are forming coalitions of several schools to improve their clout. One of the most interesting organizations is the Energy Action Coalition, comprised of 50 student groups.

Energy Action brings some fun to the otherwise staid energy industry. For example, on Valentine’s Day, group members in Michigan sent love notes to legislators to push a green energy agenda. Among other things, the students sought a 2% annual increase in energy efficiency through 2015.

Next the group plans to revamp the sometimes decadent spring-break-at-the-beach tradition. Energy Action is organizing trips to coal states where members will learn more about the industry, help in river clean-up and engage in some good-old fashion college fun – protests. In particular, they plan to take on planned coal-fired projects.

College administrators at several schools say that student action is influencing their energy decisions. Indeed, college presidents themselves are becoming a force in the climate change movement. About one-quarter of the nation’s colleges have signed on to the American College & University Presidents Cli­mate Commitment. The program requires that campuses create a plan to become carbon neutral within a specified time.

Many are finding that efficiency is the cheapest and quickest way to reach the goal.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education has set up a rating system to judge college green achievements. This time it is the colleges who are being graded – and the students are watching just how well they will do.

Visit energy writer Elisa Wood at www.realenergywriters.com and pick up her free Energy Efficiency Markets newsletter.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

Twitter: @ElisaWood

LinkedIn: Elisa Wood

Facebook:  Microgrids

Only through Standardization Can Microgrids Accelerate the Energy Transition

Jan. 18, 2024
Jana Gerber, North America microgrid president at Schneider Electric discusses how standardizing microgrids will accelerate the energy transition.

CumminsWP Cover_MG2021_2021-05-10_8-52-45
CumminsWP Cover_MG2021_2021-05-10_8-52-45
CumminsWP Cover_MG2021_2021-05-10_8-52-45
CumminsWP Cover_MG2021_2021-05-10_8-52-45
CumminsWP Cover_MG2021_2021-05-10_8-52-45

Transforming Microgrids with Hydrogen

Utilizing hydrogen in microgrids can play a key role in overcoming many of the challenges with the traditional energy economy such as aging infrastructure, changing customer demands...