Both UC Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County are well known for their commitment and dedication towards building a greener, cleaner future and to protect the environment we interact with on a daily basis. Sustainable development and consumption conservation efforts are among the top priorities for both of these entities and both also have strong support from the local community. In recent years, rising concern over the high social, economic, and environmental costs of global warming has stirred intense interest in renewable energy, especially solar and wind energy. Interest in solar and other forms of renewable energy has also been bolstered by concern over declining fossil fuel resources, specifically oil and natural gas. These concerns, in turn, have created favorable policies at the state and national level that are creating incentives for many businesses and homeowners to install renewable energy systems on site to promote the movement towards clean energy.
Energy provisions and generation are central to industrial and economic activities; in turn, the technologies that are producing and using this energy are key in terms of determining environmental impacts. UC Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County are both in need of establishing solution based, long-term goals for employing renewable energy technology and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In order for an accurate, feasible goal to be created, renewable energy assessments must be completed prior to determine the potential amount of production and emission offsets that can be achieved.
The Renewable Energy Assessments project on campus is currently an IDEASS student-led project and has been on-going for two years come June 2013. The current and past focus has been on solar photovoltaic (PV) energy production for UC-owned buildings and areas that have been targeted as potential sites for efficient, cost-effective energy production. A past solar PV site assessment has already been completed for the Long Marine Laboratory Building located on the Westside of Santa Cruz. The efforts by a past IDEASS student has shown that utilizing solar PV energy on-site is a valuable option and should be implemented in the near future. The most current project is focusing on a potential 500 KW covered parking lot solar PV design for the East Remote Parking Lot, as well as a potential 1 MW commercial solar PV design for the Wrigley Building on the Westside of Santa Cruz.
The students are working with multiple mentors and various stakeholders to create a project proposal for UC Santa Cruz and the owner of the Wrigley Building to provide more in-depth insight into the potential benefits for converting to the use of sustainable, renewable energy sources.
This project goes hand-in-hand with UC Santa Cruz's Campus Sustainability Plan for 2013 - 2016:
Goal 1: Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to
reduce the campus carbon footprint through education and behavior change
-Create campus-wide energy-focused
behavior change programs, including development of educational videos, to
support the implementation of the 2013 Climate Action Plan by 2014.
-Create consortium for energy research
with specific goal of reducing energy use/GHG emissions through application of
existing technologies by 2016.
-Establish four intern positions within
staff departments to help implement energy initiatives by 2016.
Goal 2: Reduce GHG emissions through energy efficiency, cleaner
energy supply and technology
-Develop strategic energy plan for
2015-2020 that reduces campus energy use by at least 15% by January 1, 2015.
-Procure electricity for campus that has
a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) 20% higher than state required minimum
(22%?) by 2016.
-Procure biogas for campus that reduces
the annual campus stationary combustion emissions to less than or equal to
20,000 metric tons.
Goal 3: Build staff and fiscal capacity to effectively implement
-Establish GRLF of at least $250,000 by
Fall 2013 with first applications received in Winter 2014.
-By 2015, have at least one full time
dedicated staff for energy efficiency in auxiliaries.
-Identify permanent funding source for
employees currently funded by the Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) by January
Team members are comparing different methods of synthesizing graphene single layer and multilayer graphene and characterizing the results.
University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
© 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.