Written By: Renata Hegyi, Josephine A. Lamprey UNH Energy Task Force Fellow
In the fight against rapid climate change one of the key areas of attack is heat and power generation. Globally, heating and electricity production accounts for 31% of greenhouse gas emissions. The rest of the emissions come mostly from agriculture, transportation, and industry. We have made huge strides in figuring out renewable electricity generation. Think solar PV panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, or geothermal plants. While grid integration challenges remain and energy storage...Read More
Written By: Brendan Hellebusch, Buildings and Embodied Carbon Fellow
Climate change is undebatably the most defining issue of our generation. In fact, 64% of Americans are worried a great deal/fair amount about climate change’s effects. (Which is a 9% from 2015.) For good reason too, the science behind climate change is simple, but the consequences are complex and unpredictable, as are the mitigation strategies. If there’s one thing agreed upon, it is that greenhouse gasses(GHGs) must be accounted for and reduced.
To address this issue, the World Resource...Read More
Written By: Ann DeSanctis, EcoDisctrict Pilot Project Fellow
Sustainability Districts (also referred to as Ecodistricts) as defined by the Portland Sustainability Institute are “neighborhoods that have committed to sustainability performance goals over time by integrating building and infrastructure projects with community and individual actions” (Bassett, Cortwright, Selzter, Shandas, & Smith, 2010). The Sustainability Districts are not led by master developers or public agencies, but, instead, are focused on existing neighborhood initiatives that...Read More
Written By: Kristina Harrold, Renewable Energy Fellow
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), also known as Renewable Electricity Standards (RES), are government-regulated mandates that exist in various forms in thirty out of the fifty United States[i]. The policy requires electric utilities to source a percentage of their annual production from renewable energies. New Hampshire has their own RPS that took effect in 2008 and will continue until at least 2025. So when you get your electricity bill every month, you can take some comfort in knowing that...Read More
Written By: Vidya Balasubramanyam, Portsmouth Sustainability Fellow
Asking the right questions
Just yesterday, I read that the South Pole, the last station on Earth that did not have CO2 concentrations at the 400 ppm level, unfortunately ended up reaching it. This is not an isolated incident; it seems that the planet as a whole has transcended the 400 ppm threshold permanently. However, the fact that a location as remote as the South Pole has crossed this milestone is worrying.
This makes me wonder: Is it too late to mitigate? Is adaptation the only way? If so...Read More
Written By: Laura LoSciuto, Responsible Governance & Citizenship Project: Providence Sustainability Engagement Fellow
Providence, Rhode Island
I have never been as impressed with the transparency of government as I am with the City of Providence, RI. Want to see how the government is structured? Check out the org chart in the annual report, available on the City’s website. Want to see exactly where your tax dollars go? Click on the interactive charts that spell out the budget for each department. Want to talk to someone in person? Walk on into City Hall—no security pass or appointment needed.
All this...Read More
Written By: Dylan Kelly, Climate Vulnerability Fellow
Our work has begun!
Following a three-day orientation that facilitated the gathering of an incredible group of like-minded people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, the twenty-one 2016 UNHSI Sustainability Fellows (and their respective advisors) have dispersed throughout the country to begin putting their unique talents towards a wide array of progressive projects.
The first of the ten weeks we have been given to accomplish our goals has come to a close and if it has been any indication...Read More
UNH uses over 70,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year to power the entire campus. To put that in perspective, the average NH home uses approximately 7,000 kWh/yr, so UNH uses the equivalent of 10,000 homes. With our Combined Heat and Power Plant, we can produce 88% of our total power needs while providing heat to the majority of campus buildings through our Ecoline project that uses a processed landfill gas as its primary fuel. However, that still means we need to buy over 8 million kWh per...Read More
Written By: Emily Gold, Outreach & Engagement Intern
The other day, I walked into class dripping sweat. I was late, it was warm outside, and my perspiration management game was weak. The old adage that “girls don’t sweat, they glisten” is, in the words of Joe Biden, the biggest load of malarkey. Sprinting to class on a hot day, I sweat like Richard Nixon at the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debate. (Two politician references in two sentences…I’m a poli sci major, what can I say?) I ripped off my sweater, and went through the awkward process of cooling...Read More
Written By: Alexandra Chavis, Environmental Advocate
The Environmental Advocates seek to increase awareness of sustainability initiatives on campus and create a more sustainable residence hall community at the University of New Hampshire. For more information about the program, please contact Colleen Flaherty. The opinions of the author are his own and not representative of the Sustainability Institute or the University of New Hampshire.
This cartoon says a lot of what the world suffers through every day. People know there is such thing as...Read More