University of California System to go 100% renewable by 2025

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The University of California system (UC) has announced a plan for all of its schools and medical centers under UC Health to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2025. This announcement now means that UC has the most aggressive renewable energy procurement goal of any university known by pv magazine. 

UC has also pledged to reduce its energy intensity, meaning the energy used per square foot per year, by 2% annually.

“From LED lighting to all-electric fleets, we are proud of the countless energy efficiency and clean energy actions we have taken to tackle climate change,” said UC associate vice president of Energy and Sustainability, David Phillips. “These ambitious new targets, which align with those of our student environmental leaders, will ensure that our electricity comes from clean sources, extending UC leadership in modeling sustainability solutions.”

The commitment to renewable energy is nothing new to UC, which in 2016 purchased Five Points Solar Park, a 60MW solar power plant, the largest owned by any university system in the country.

UC now becomes the latest entry in the trend of university systems committing to renewable energy, though the most ambitious of its kind. The University of Hawaii system has in place a goal to become net-zero in energy use, producing as much energy as it consumes by 2035, while Duke Energy supplies the University of North Carolina system with 250MW of renewably-generated electricity each year as a part of their Green Source Advantage Program. A handful of other schools have also announced commitments to switching to renewably-sourced energy while cutting their own consumption.

“Today I’m so proud to be a UC student — proud of UC for taking this visionary action and proud of my fellow students for working together to push for a future powered by clean energy,” said Sophie Haddad, chair of the student organization California Public Interest Research Group. “Our generation will be the ones experiencing the severe impacts of climate change; that’s why thousands of students signed on to our campaign and are supporting this the university’s landmark commitment.”