PERC Green Power Boot Camp Held at Villanova University
Villanova University held a Green Power Boot Camp event that was sponsored by Pennsylvania Green Colleges and the Green Gigawatt Partnership on Friday, Feb. 19 from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Villanova held the event in association with the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC).
Liesel Schwarz, the Sustainability Manager at Villanova University talked about the importance of having an event like this at Villanova.
“The biggest benefit is getting all the key players from different universities to learn and network together,” Schwarz said.
The Green Power Boot Camp event helped the participants create a renewable energy strategy that included off-site and on-site approaches according to The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) website http://www.aashe.org/events/workshops/2016/Philadelphia-Green-Power-Boot-Camp-Feb-2016.
AASHE’s website also talked about some of the events the workshop included. Some of these are an overview of renewable energy trends, short informative pieces on power purchase agreements, and case studies that came from colleges.
Schwarz explained that there are a lot more opportunities to purchase renewable energy now then there were in the past. She talked about how people used to have the option of purchasing renewable energy credits, which were never very desirable, or on site projects such as solar panels on buildings and parking garages. Schwarz argued that although on site projects could work well in areas of the country that get a lot of sunshine, they left something to be desired in other areas.
One of the things that the Green Power Boot Camp featured was information about long term power purchase agreements. Schwarz explained that the agreements allow people to purchase energy from solar producers without added costs.
“A large portion of campus greenhouse gas emissions come from energy,” Schwarz said. “Pursuing renewable energy goes a long way towards reducing [the university’s] carbon footprint.”
Schwarz talked about how education and policy insurance are two of the biggest things that could be done to make renewable energy available to the everyday homeowner. She also said that the government has to have a standard in policy insurance where policies won’t change in order for renewable resources to be available to the masses.