With all the hype over the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, (an estimated 70 million brackets were filled out this season,) everyone is looking for a new angle on how to determine the winners. While it has proven not be the most successful way of picking teams for actual, on the court, victories, staffers at RMI, (Rocky Mountain Institute,) made their bracket selections based on renewable energy statistics.
Upon releasing the initial tournament bracket, RMI collected renewable energy information of the utility servicing the main campus of each team in the tournament. There were some challenges in deciding upon a fair ranking system due to the numerous variables at play, for instance: to rank by installed capacity or actual energy generation, how to give credit for on-site generation, what types of renewables to include, and so on. The rules for determining rankings they decided upon are as follows:
(Leherman and Sherwood)
In conducting their research, staffers commented on the glaring disparity between available data on renewable utilities, (being extremely difficult to locate at times,) and the ease of accessibility of data on players and teams. Researchers did prevail, however, and used all information available to come to the conclusion that Texas, Oregon, UC-Irvine, and Eastern Washington would make up the renewable energy Final Four. To compare these statistics to those actually pertinent to the game of basketball, however, the likelihood of these four teams making it to the final rounds were 2% Texas, 1% Oregon, and less than 1% for both UC-Irvine and Eastern Washington.
While it is not recommended to use their analysis in your own pool's bracket, it is definitely worth a look at the article on RMI's blog, written by Senior Associates Matt Lehrman and James Sherwood. Moreover, it is important to recognize those leading the way for renewables, particularly those in the universities of our country, as they often represent the future of technology.