Opinion: Renewable electricity is the solution to the climate crisis

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Windmill

This year at Doane, the Climate Reality Project Campus Corps of Doane University are working to help Doane commit to 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030.

There are a number of benefits to pursuing this: lower costs, lower environmental impact, first in the state, etc.

Doane was not only the first school in Nebraska to divest from fossil fuels last spring but the goal to commit to be the first school in the state to become carbon neutral though 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

There are a number of ways that Doane can do this, and should work to incorporate a variety of options to achieve this goal.

Options such as using solar panels, purchasing Renewable Energy

Credits (RECs), or Power Purchase Agreements, long-term electricity pricing contracts with renewable energy providers.

However Doane decides to commit, it will be a unique plan to Doane, and the solution for the climate crisis is unique for every entity.

The economic benefits of renewable electricity are key in this debate. The 2018 National Solar Jobs Census said that the solar industry grew six times faster than the United States economy which added around some 100,000 jobs in the industry.

Furthermore, the Census said 7.8% of the solar industry workforce were veterans, higher than the 6.6% of the overall United States workforce. The economic benefits are profound here, and should be noted when discussing

Doane’s future.

The climate crisis is fundamentally changing the way Americans live their daily lives. Last spring, intense flooding and droughts swept through the Midwest damaging farms and bottom lines.

Local farmers are finding that adding solar panels to their farms is a better alternative compared to the crop losses and negative impacts of the trade war.

It is time Doane began leading the state in how localized solutions to the climate crisis are key. The benefits of Doane’s Commitment to 100% Renewable Electricity will reach not only Doane’s pocketbooks, but to the local community as well.