UCSC among EPA's 'green power' winners; faculty member questions basis for ranking

UC Santa Cruz and Santa Clara University have together purchased more than 68 million kilowatts of green power, earning accolades from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

UCSC faculty member questions basis for ranking

In an op-ed published in the San Jose Mercury News, UCSC Environmental Studies Department chair Daniel Press says renewable energy certificates are a "feel-good scam."
The two universities won the EPA's Green Power College and University Challenge awards.

In addition, Intel Corp. has been honored as a Top 50 Purchaser by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership program by purchasing more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually--enough green power to meet 47 percent of the organization's purchased electricity use. (See EPA press release.)

"Congratulations to the Intel Corp., University of Santa Clara, and UC Santa Cruz--their cutting-edge policies fortify our nation's commitment to cleaner, healthier air," said Deborah Jordan, the EPA's Air Division director for the Pacific Southwest. "With their commitment to use renewable energy, they are setting the standard for others and helping make renewable energy more affordable for all."

UCSC beat its rivals by purchasing 57 million kilowatt-hours of green power, representing 100 percent of the school's annual electricity usage. This is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power nearly 6,000 average American homes each year, or has the equivalent impact of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 7,000 passenger cars annually.

The EPA's Green Power Partnership works with more than 1,000 partner organizations to voluntarily purchase green power to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use.

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. Green power electricity generates less pollution than conventional power and produces no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.