Clean energy is viable for colleges
Views 13 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 1 - 30 - 2019 | By: Jeff Schiller
Humans are still using dinosaur juice to power almost everything we own. But this is fine, right? Because that’s what we do; we find and invent new tools that help make our lives easier. However, if we are inventors, shouldn’t we have found a fuel other than bone liquid? Well, actually, we have, and it’s called renewable energy. Sources like wind, solar, and hydropower can provide us with even more energy than oil and coal combined. So why is Westmont, our own community of higher education, not making the switch? Let’s look at the facts before we dig in.
According to Rystad Energy, an independent fossil fuel consulting business, the Earth has roughly 2,092 billion barrels of oil available for use. Each day, about 94 million barrels are used, translating to roughly 34 billion barrels used per year. At that rate, we’ll have exhausted our oil reserves around the year 2075. For those math majors out there, that’s 56 years away: a little over half a century before there is no more fuel left. I know this school is used to blackouts, but no electricity at all seems a bit extreme.
I know what you’re thinking: sure, it’s cleaner and inexhaustible, but I don’t want Westmont’s tuition to raise. Isn’t it expensive? Actually, in all cases except for the occasional solar power plant, renewables are actually cheaper than fossil fuels. “The Market Value of Variable Renewables,” an article on the economics of renewables, says that wind power has actually fallen to half the price of fossil fuel generated energy. That same article explains that the price of solar has nearly halved in about 30 years. It seems that there is that renewables are either already cheaper than fossil fuels or are on their way to being there. This college would actually save money that could be put to use somewhere else. Imagine path lights around campus that actually work.
Ok, so since I’m so good at reading minds, I can tell that you’re thinking, “Wow if we’re about to run out of fossil fuels and renewable energy is actually cheaper, why aren’t we already using it?” I am asking that same exact question. There’s no logical explanation as to why, especially as a higher education facility in sunny California, we are not either buying or generating our own solar energy. To continue to use fossil fuels is to be blind to the fact that we are running out of resources and hurting ourselves in the process. We cannot claim to be a place of “deeper thinking, wider impact” if we choose to blatantly ignore the fact that we are not being good stewards of God’s creation. Only once we come together and protect what God has given us will we fulfill our role on this planet. I hope that through this article, we can be encouraged to push ourselves, this college, and its leaders to be better.