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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

2017 Sustainable Energy Factbook Released

March 3, 2017

The 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook is now available to download and may help guide campuses considering an expansion into renewables. The Factbook highlights continued growth in the alternative energy industry in hydropower, geothermal, solar, wind and biomas/biogas, which bodes well for academic offerings on the green workforce.

From 2007 to 2016, total energy use in the United States has declined 3.6 percent while the GDP has increased 12 percent. Although overall energy use has generally declined due to increased efficiency, the cost of energy is still an operational component that can be improved upon at most campuses.      

Renewables are one potential avenue for improvement at higher education institutions. Capital costs for renewables are declining, which could lower initial and operational costs for campuses as well as decrease the campus carbon footprint. These alternatives are important elements to evaluate as most campuses are facing aging infrastructure in their physical plants. In the past five years, renewables have made up 62 percent of the new capacity in growth in energy plants.

Additional resources include an infographic of highlights from the Factbook, as well as information on states that have made clean energy progress.


Sally Grans Korsh
Director, Facilities Management and Environmental Policy