Monday, September 21, 2020

Energy transition falls on all of MSU

There is a consensus in the scientific community that global climate change is occurring due to the burning of fossil fuels by automobiles and factories.

In an attempt to avoid adding to the problem, MSU is looking for alternative, renewable energy sources to reduce its carbon footprint. Although no one energy source has been found as the perfect solution, the university is exploring many different alternatives and allowing students and professors to get involved.

A recent State News article chronicled the efforts by MSU officials to research renewable and alternative energy sources.

MSU has set a goal to one day be free of its dependency on coal. Although no official date has been set for when MSU will stop using coal, the first goal is for the university to be utilizing 15 percent renewable energy by 2015 with a 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Both students and faculty can get involved with the university’s research of alternative energy sources, with $100,000 set to be available for student research.

With 250 tons of fuel being burned on average by the university on a daily basis, a great majority of which is coal, it is completely necessary for the university to find alternatives.

University officials realize relying on a non-renewable energy source, especially one that has such harmful effects on the environment, will only hinder our university’s development as others continue to incorporate new technologies to be more energy efficient.

But one must also consider the feasibility of becoming 100 percent coal-free.

There is not one golden solution, and it is the right decision to explore and research options and figure out what is both the most cost efficient and energy efficient for buildings and residence halls.

The university’s decision to fund student involvement in the search for alternative energy and efficiency is also a positive step. Students can gain funding for research projects and make a substantial difference within MSU if their research finds affordable and efficient alternative energy resources.

University officials are doing what they can to keep students informed about conserving energy. They remind students to unplug appliances and turn off the lights in their dorm rooms before leaving for the weekend or for a longer break, and also usually post energy efficiency numbers at the front of residence halls.

Although these do not make a significant difference in the amount of fuel the university burns on a daily basis, it is a small step toward the knowledge and practice of energy efficiency among students and staff.

The MSU Office of Campus Sustainability also encourages students, faculty and staff to be aware of ways to save energy and “Be Spartan Green.”

It is imperative the university reduces its dependence on coal and attempts to shrink its carbon footprint.

Because no one solution has been found to render the university coal-free, MSU should continue to search for the best way to reduce harm on the environment.

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