UMass Dartmouth MassPIRG students want university to switch exclusively to renewable energy

Media Hit Taunton Daily Gazette

DARTMOUTH – MassPIRG students at UMass Dartmouth are launching a campaign to encourage UMass Dartmouth to generate 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources. This campaign is part of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s national initiative to get 150 schools to commit to switching exclusively to renewable energy by 2021.

Work on this nationwide effort will include petition drives and direct engagement with administration officials. Thousands of students and faculty from every region of the country are expected to mobilize for this cause.

Last fall, UMass Dartmouth committed to be a zero-carbon emission campus by 2030. The dining system on the campus also works toward composting, feeding the homeless, and reducing waste. The campus has done a lot already and the campus should continue to strive to be a leader in this field.

UMass Dartmouth also recently announced the launch of the largest public battery storage system in Massachusetts. These measures will reduce the electrical load of the university during peak usage times by releasing stored energy, and in turn help save money.

This push at UMass Dartmouth comes at a time when there is significant national momentum for Environment America Research & Policy Center’s 100% Renewable Campuses campaign. This past fall, the University of Arizona became the latest school to commit to 100 percent renewable electricity. Elsewhere, Vanderbilt University, Middlebury College, the University of California at Berkeley and Brown University also announced commitments to powering all of their campuses with clean renewable energy. There are currently more than 30 campuses that have made the 100 percent commitment.

Numerous student leaders on campuses across the country, like UMass Dartmouth’s Save the Bees Service-Learning coordinator Mariana Hebert, are voicing support for this initiative.

“If we don’t take action now, there won’t be much of a future to fight for,” Hebert said. “It’s our responsibility to reverse the damage we’ve done and protect our home in any way we can.”

Learn more about Environment America’s campaign for 100% renewable energy on college campuses.