There has been a recent push to integrate more solar-power technology into the University of Texas campus. As you may know, solar panels are often placed on roofs of buildings, and they generate energy from the sun that is converted to electrical power to generate electricity for the interior of the building. This solar power is supposed to be a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative. There are some obstacles for putting up roof panels and increasing Texas’s solar power percentage. First, some buildings at The University of Texas feature red tiled roofs that are held with sentiment within the community. Many people would not be too fond of the idea of solar panels being mounted on top of them and adding large steel frames to the roofs’ historical image. The second challenge is that integrating solar-power technology would not be the most economically sound idea for the university’s budget. The University of Texas currently has a power generation system on campus that is working well, and adding in solar-power technology is not the highest priority.
*The closer to red the color is, the more potential that area of rooftop has for solar-power generation. Areas represented by colors closer to blue would be less ideal for placing solar panels as they are more often in the shade.
Finally, it is important to note that the price of using solar-power technology is going down. Because of this information gathered by Moulay Anwar Sounny-Slitine, a former Master’s student of the University of Texas’s Department of Geography and the Environment and others involved in the push for more solar-power on the university’s campus, ideal places to put solar panels are now known when the economically appropriate time comes. The university has many rooftops that could hold solar panels and provide environmentally friendly technology as one may infer from the diagram. There are plenty of these rooftops that aren’t comprised of the prized red tiles which carry the aesthetic sentiment held among some in the university’s community. According to Slitine, this is a fair amount and can be utilized in the future. This is an exciting prospect for the University of Texas’s sustainability level.
Sounny-Slitine, M. (2011, October 21). Solar Power Potential on the University of Texas Campus. Retrieved September 20, 2014.