Thursday Night Group is pushing for renewable energy on campus. Specifically, “We believe the college should set a percentage of the energy consumption of all new building projects to come from college-owned renewable sources, like solar panels, micro wind turbines, or solar hot water systems.”

Sign the Willipedia petition if you agree the college must commit to this goal.

Clearly there are many ways to reduce a building’s energy use, renewable energy being just one of those. Not building it in the first place, upgrades in efficiency, and smarter building systems are extremely viable and cost-effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint, and the college should not skimp on taking these into consideration.

Clearly Williams will always need buildings and we’re probably going to build a few more in the next decades. While we might be able to meet the goal of 10% reduction in GHG emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 without investing in college-owned renewable energy generation, that is only a short-term goal. In the long term, its clear we need to think of numbers like 80% reductions by 2050, and that means more than efficiency. In the spirit of long-term viability of the institution, we need to implement a building policy now that builds for a climate-change safe world.

We don’t support massive purchases of Renewable Energy Credits. We do support an investment in renewable energy technology on campus.

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