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Swarthmore & local schools leading the way for renewable energy efforts
Energy

Swarthmore & local schools leading the way for renewable energy efforts

Colleges nationwide continue to energy & electric vehicle efforts, according to PennEnvironment

2020 has been a bad year, but there’s one good thing: colleges continue to trailblaze towards 100% renewable energy and other sustainable efforts.

Six Pennsylvania colleges have been commended for their efforts in shifting to renewable electricity, using clean energy, and adopting electric vehicles.  PennEnvironment released America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy in 2020 report earlier this year.

Swarthmore College (Delaware County) led the way, ranking 7th nationally and getting 110% of its energy from renewable sources. They achieved this by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (REC) in the form of wind power, a program that started in 1999 and grown to offset all of their greenhouse gas emissions. 

Not far behind Swarthmore is Bryn Mawr College, which has 100% renewable energy

While it’s good to hear how these two colleges are thriving, there’s also controversy over RECs. REC is considered by some to be a greenwashing scam because the green energy being bought isn’t being used.

Other Pennsylvania schools that came in the lead include Chatham University in Pittsburgh, which came in second for amount of non-electric renewable energy produced on campus per student. Chatham has 40 geothermal wells that heat and cool buildings and 400 solar panels

When universities lead the way in renewable energy as high energy users, they can also demonstrate to other institutions that renewable energy is achievable.


Cover Photo: Swarthmore College, Facebook

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Katie Rodgers is a writer based on the East Coast working as an editorial intern for Green Philly. She's interested in sustainability, environmental activism, and documentary media. Before coming to Green Philly, Katie interned at WHYY. View all posts by Katie Rodgers

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