U.S. Higher Education Rallies on Renewable Energy

The Higher Education Committee (HEC), a coalition of college and university presidents and academic leaders organized by The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), is calling on American institutions of higher learning to commit to renewable energy by greening their campuses, investing in the industry and teaching future generations about renewable energy.

“American institutions of higher education are joining together to move renewable energy into the mainstream,” said President of College of the Atlantic (COA) David Hales, who will chair the HEC. Last month, COA declared itself net-zero for all greenhouse gas emissions; through renewable energy investments the college will offset whatever carbon emissions it cannot eliminate or reduce. “Colleges and universities can take immediate action by demonstrating how to transition to a cleaner, more secure, more reliable and affordable energy future,” noted ACORE President Michael Eckhart. Colleges and universities, he believes, have a vital and urgent role to play in mobilizing intellectual and financial capital toward energy strategies that can be used by the nation, its institutions and its general population. “These institutions can help create and drive the market for renewable energy, as well as profit from its growth,” Eckhart added. Through forums and other resources, HEC will focus on four initiatives: increased use of renewable energy on U.S. college and university campuses, increased investment of endowments in clean energy funds and companies, resources for the education of current and future generations, and involvement of alumni associations. Additionally, Hales notes the HEC can take immediate action through developing educational materials and curricula for renewable energy, especially in schools of engineering, science, law, business and public policy. The HEC will encourage colleges and universities to involve their whole communities, including alumni, staff, faculty and students. The HEC Steering Committee will meet for the first time in conjunction with ACORE’s annual policy conference, Phase II of Renewable Energy in America: Market Forecasts and Policy Requirements, being held from November 29-30, 2006 in Washington, D.C. To see the individuals and institutions on the Steering Committee, please use the first of the three links below.
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