It’s one thing to theorize about the best means of energy production. It’s another thing to put it into practice. And while both are necessary in order to determine the effectiveness, longevity, and consequences of harvesting energy, one thing’s for certain — scholars won’t act until they know the certainty of their results.

Luckily for students, faculty, and the communities around the country, they’re putting their theories on efficient energy production directly to the test. As access to clean energy education and research has grown, so too has the practice of powering universities with renewable energy like solar.

Thanks to solar installations dropping nearly 70% in price over the past decade, and to the research necessitating the switch to renewable energies to avert a climate catastrophe, colleges like Colorado State University, Rutgers, Arizona State University, and more have already made the switch to solar. 

Even universities outside of sunshine states like Cornell have announced plans to use solar to, according to vice president for facilities Rick Burgess, help simultaneously cut costs and reduce Cornell’s carbon emissions. 

“Cornell has a goal for the Ithaca campus to become carbon neutral using 100% renewable energy by 2035,” said Burgess. “In line with this commitment, and encouraged by campus and community input, we are seeking to increase the amount of renewable energy that will be used in the proposed project. We are aiming to make a great project even better.” 

Overwhelmingly, America’s leaders in academia are switching to solar. With cost and environmental savings working hand in hand, perhaps the solution of a renewable switch will come just as easily to the rest of the nation. 

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