Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCSD’s Extraordinary Commitment to Climate Solutions

17.07.2008
One of the “greenest” universities launches sweeping sustainable energy program.

University of California, San Diego, one of the nation’s greenest college campuses, has begun construction on a sustainable energy program that’s among the largest in the nation by a university.

The far-reaching program, which includes solar, biogas fuel cells and wind energy, began with the first installation of solar photovoltaic panels atop a campus utility plant. Soon, buildings and parking garages across the 1,200-acre campus next to the Pacific Ocean will feature solar panels.

UC San Diego’s green energy capacity will eventually produce 29 million kilowatt hours a year, which is enough to provide electricity for more than 4,500 homes a year, and remove an equivalent of 10,500 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. That’s the equivalent of removing 1,500 cars a year from the roads, which means UC San Diego is doing more than its part to limit pollution.

Across UC San Diego, scientists, students and university staff work together on solutions to climate change.

“This photovoltaic installation marks an historic event for a campus that has become a living laboratory for climate change solutions,” said Steve Relyea, Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs. “Our sustainable energy program is the result of a campuswide commitment by students, faculty and administration to advance environmental sustainability on a local, national and global level.”

As Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Keeling Curve, the first measurement of greenhouse gas build-up which was conducted by Scripps scientist Charles David Keeling, the university will soon be generating 7.4 megawatts of green energy, providing 10-15 percent of its annual electrical usage. Producing green energy reduces the university’s use of greenhouse gas-generating fossil fuels that are warming the planet and polluting the air we breathe.

Researchers and students at UC San Diego are working on a wide range of environmental sustainability projects, including developing biofuels from algae and wood debris. Planners design green dorms with automatic sun shading to save energy and drainage systems that stop all storm runoff from flowing into the nearby ocean. Students and fleet managers have begun a biofuel shuttle bus line, which decreases UC San Diego’s reliance on greenhouse gas-generating fossil fuels. The world’s top climate change researchers and post-docs discover the impact of Asian brown cloud pollution on global climate and of rising temperatures on the western U.S. water supply.

UC San Diego’s green energy program will continue to unfold over the next year, as the first 1 megawatt of solar photovoltaic panels is constructed and a second megawatt is planned and implemented.

In addition to the solar photovoltaic project, UC San Diego will produce another 2.4 megawatts of energy from fuel cells powered by renewable methane. The methane fuel will be transported to UC San Diego from the Point Loma sewage treatment plant, where it is produced. Construction begins this fall. Not only does this produce green energy that replaces carbon-based energy, but it also removes pollutants from local air, since the methane is currently flared into the atmosphere at the sewage plant.

UC San Diego also begins a unique program to swap fossil fuel-generated energy for wind power. The university will throttle back its natural gas-powered cogeneration plant at night and replace the power with electricity purchased from California wind farms. This project, the first of its kind in California, will generate up to 3 megawatts of green energy.

The solar photovoltaic and biogas fuel cell construction projects are cost-free for the university. UC San Diego has negotiated power purchase agreements, in which investors construct, install and maintain the photovoltaic panels and fuel cells on campus property, and the university then buys the power from investors through long-term contracts.

UC San Diego has teamed up with local, national and international companies on its sustainable energy project. Three partners are working with the university on the solar photovoltaic project. Borrego Solar, Inc., a national solar power contractor based in El Cajon, CA, is the installer; Envision Solar, Inc., of San Diego, designer of the solar “trees” that will be built on top of UC San Diego parking structures, also is involved. Solar Power Partners (SPP™), Inc., of Mill Valley, CA, is the financier and owner of the solar photovoltaic arrays. The biogas fuel cells are financed, constructed and owned by The Linde Group, an international industrial gases and engineering company.

The work to bring discovery, solutions, and practical application to the climate change challenges affecting our world are being confronted by the best and brightest at UC San Diego.

Jim Gogek | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>