ENGS 86 Independent Projects (AB Students)

Degree Program


Year of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Professor Mark Laser

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 6-4-2019


The ski industry is one of the most at-risk industries as a result of climate change. Warming temperatures and decreasing snowfall are contributing to a decline in skier visitations, shorter seasons, and higher energy costs. Currently, only 3 of 478 ski resorts in the United States rely on 100% renewable energy sources. The intent of this paper is to understand what the issues and barriers are to renewable energy development at ski resorts, and what technologies are feasible and appropriate for this industry to develop. While the renewable energy industry faces many issues and barriers, the ski industry faces its own unique set of financial, land, and community barriers to implementing renewable alternatives. However, this study finds that three renewable technologies (solar, wind, and hydropower) are feasible and appropriate for ski resorts to implement with considerations to be taken in the context of the environment, state policies, and natural resources. Renewable energy development is an option for every ski resort; however, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Overall, there is an opportunity for ski resorts or a third party to take the lead on renewable development. The ski industry can show that it is possible and that nationally we all must transition.