The adoption of large numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) offers many benefits for cities, including cleaner air and the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles are far cleaner than gasoline-powered cars, with lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower emissions of the pollutants that contribute to smog and particulate matter.
America must shift away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable sources of energy in order to protect our air, water and land, and to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, are virtually unlimited and produce little to no pollution. With renewable energy technology improving and costs plummeting, it is now possible to imagine a future in which all of America’s energy comes from clean, renewable sources.
The availability of wind and solar power, however, varies by the hour, day and season. To repower our economy with clean energy, we need an electric grid that is capable of incorporating large volumes of variable renewable resources.
Energy storage technologies can be an important part of that electric grid of the future, helping to assure reliable access to electricity while supporting America’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy. To get the most benefit out of energy storage, however, policy-makers and the general public need to understand how energy storage works, where and when it is necessary, and how to structure public policy to support the appropriate introduction of energy storage.
America has enough renewable energy potential from the sun and wind to power the nation several times over. Studies of the electricity system suggest that high penetrations of renewable energy are possible using technologies available today at costs that society can afford. Technological advances – including the development and commercialization of new methods of energy storage – along with continued declines in the price of renewable energy technologies such as solar power and advances in energy efficiency, suggest that a 100 percent renewable energy system can be achieved by 2050.As hotspots of innovation and technical expertise, college campuses are the perfect place to implement the programs and technologies that will develop the clean energy technologies of tomorrow and accelerate the transition to a future powered entirely by of 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
Environment New York designed a series of 10 fact sheets as a resource for students, faculty and administrators interested in moving their campus toward sustainability. The fact sheets have been crafted to illustrate the importance, challenges and opportunities of 10 important and distinct tools associated with building a 100 percent clean, renewable energy system. Each fact sheet includes two case studies of effective action on college campuses, as well as a list of resources.
Environment New York Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.