ASUC Senate Encourages University of California to Use Renewable
Solar Panel Proponents Tout Cost Effectiveness
Kapp Daily Californian 2002.10.4
UC Merced could be the first university with all campus buildings
relying significantly on renewable
energy if a student-run campaign succeeds in convincing the UC Board
of Regents next month.
UC Berkeley students from the Sustainability Coalition, along
with Greenpeace, plan to urge the regents
Nov. 13 to adopt a systemwide policy of using 50 percent clean renewable
energy in all new and
renovated buildings. The coalition also asks that the buildings
contain a solar photovoltaic system to
provide 25 percent of the energy for the buildings.
Construction of UC Merced's first three buildings began in the
spring, and the new campus is expected
to open fall 2004.
The ASUC Senate Wednesday night became the first UC student government
to pass a bill supporting a
systemwide renewable energy program.
The bill, authored by Cal-SERVE Senator Gustavo Mata, asks the
ASUC Senate to write a letter to the
regents requesting that all new and renovated UC buildings be certified
at a silver standard of the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a green building
Proponents of the bill said the installation of solar panels would
offer UC an alternative to high energy
They added the project would be economically effective because
the money saved from solar energy
would eventually pay for the initial costs of installing the panels.
"The final goal is to get an item on the regent's agenda
and have some time to strongly suggest this
program," said UC Berkeley senior Tanja Roos, a member of the
The bill also stipulates that ASUC External Affairs Vice President
Jimmy Bryant send a copy of the bill
to the UC Student Association urging them to pass a similar resolution.
Berkeley College Republicans Senator Paul LaFata provided the
sole opposing vote, although he said
he did not oppose the use of solar energy.
"You need to be cautious with such technology," LaFata
LaFata added a proper amount of research had not been conducted
on this proposal.
Members of the coalition expect a feasibility report for their
plan to be released Oct. 15. They also plan
to hold a panel discussion with professors and various students
groups to gain support.
Student governments at UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and UCLA are
considering legislation similar to
the bill passed here, Roos said.
Jay Kapp covers the ASUC. E-mail him at email@example.com.