Assessment of Support for Solar Hot Water Heating Systems on the Studley Campus of Dalhousie University
MetadataShow full item record
The threat of global warming is becoming an increasing reality. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing irreversible changes to the globe, threatening the survival of many species –including humans. In order to stop our current path to destruction, action must be taken. Since human habits are the source of the problem, they must also be part of the solution. In light of this knowledge, there is a campus wide sustainability movement underway at Dalhousie. There are currently efforts to adopt sustainability into the curriculum, to increase efficiency and to reduce consumption; yet Dalhousie’s energy supply is derived from very polluting sources of energy such as bunker “c” oil. According to facilities management, last year Dalhousie purchased 13,800,000 L of this non-renewable fossil fuel. There has not yet been any commitment to integrate renewable sources of energy into our system. Several other institutions and universities worldwide (including Canada) and have already implemented renewable energies; it is time for Dalhousie to jump onboard. There are priceless environmental contributions as well as financial benefits associated to the use of renewable energies. Incorporating renewable energies on campus would also make a statement about the severity of global climate change. In addition to economic and environmental benefits, the sustainability movement may also gain social support. There are many projects attempting to educate the population about the need for conservation and efficiency. A physical structure that shows the source of our power might act as a symbolic representation, a reminder of sustainability, and as proof of Dalhousie’s commitment to the health of the future. The student support of renewable energies was unknown. The purpose of this project was to assess the support and opinion of the student body regarding the implementation of renewable energies on campus, specifically solar hot water heating units. Solar hot water heating was chosen because it is a renewable source of energy that does not require massive renovations to assure structural integrity and is easily maintained. Surplus energy can be fed back into Dalhousie's network during offpeak hours, and the university would need to buy less fuel and power from the province. The government would cover a percentage of the initial cost, helping Dalhousie's limited environmental budget, and the savings after the payback period could be used to fund other green initiatives.