Financial and Spatial Analysis to Facilitate Sustainable Energy Investments in Large Public Universities: Toward a More Proper Coupling Between Institutional, Environmental, and Social Systems




Mohammadalizadehkorde, Milad

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Responding to the existential threat posed by global climate change will require adaptation and evolution at multiple interacting scales. This study relates to this domain focused on sustainable energy production and consumption and ways to change significantly. Spatial context becomes a determinative factor in this perspective. Seeking civic engagement reveals the extent of preparedness for a substantial change. Leadership and decision-making in public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) reflect (at least partially) the preferences and values of their local communities or regions as most HEIs strive to be upstanding citizens who maintain effective Town-Gown relations. This study shows discrepancies between this assumption and the results found through spatial analysis. It is instinctive to look to universities as sustainable practice models in their respective communities. This dissertation is part of the ongoing series of analyses that assess the sustainability problem’s roots and the costs, benefits, and effects of different sustainable measurements. While the earlier research focused exclusively on the profitability of certain alternative energy investments at a single university, this dissertation offers a more nuanced study that analyzes renewable energy implementation or failure in four public universities through a conceptual framework lens. The proposed method will apply a root cause analysis by involving the spatial context representing the first step in creating a national-level evaluation as the main contribution. The results allow classifying every alternative energy project under investigation along four dimensions: (1) financial feasibility, (2) community environmental preferences, (3) state energy policy arena, and (4) energy savings. In conclusion, a series of key terms and ideas are developed to show the extent of proper coupling in each institution.



sustainability, GIS, proper coupling, higher education, energy efficiency, renewable energy, solar implementation, small wind turbine, GIS and sustainability


Mohammadalizadehkorde, M. (2021). Financial and spatial analysis to facilitate sustainable energy investments in large public universities: Toward a more proper coupling between institutional, environmental, and social systems (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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