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Kudos to UAB’s “20 by 25” renewable energy plan

By District Energy posted 06-02-2021 09:05


UAB News


The University of Alabama at Birmingham has long been established as a national leader in science and health care. Recently designated by Forbes as America’s Best Large Employer, it is in the spirit of leadership that UAB’s undergraduate and graduate students, along with its faculty, have resolved to support an effort by the UAB Sustainability Office to lead large entities in our state in renewable energy. 

Over the past several months, official student and faculty senate resolutions supporting the UAB Sustainability office’s “20 by 25” program — endorsed by UAB leadership in 2018 — are energizing plans for 20 percent of UAB’s electrical energy to be sourced to renewable energy by the year 2025.   

Some detractors might argue that 20 percent is too small a number, or that renewable energy is just too expensive compared to fossil fuel-generated electricity. I believe that those with either viewpoint should pause to reconsider.  

UAB is one of the top consumers of electrical energy in the entire state of Alabama. As such, according to Bambi Ingram, director of the UAB Sustainability Office, 20 percent of its annual electrical energy usage amounts to approximately 35 megawatts of power. 

To put this in perspective, Ingram informed me that this annual number is enough to power the Bartow Basketball arena for a period of 22 years. Impressive, especially when considering this would be the first significant large-scale move toward renewable energy on campus.   

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