Solar Energy: A New School Subject
Coming To a School Near You?
Renewables are playing an increasingly important role in the world’s energy mix, therefore it is crucial to include the engagement and education of young people in the world of “green” energy. Schools across the world are launching class programs for primary and secondary students. The goal is to have the young generation involved and aware of the uses and benefits of renewable energy.
On the other hand, every school has the potential to generate its own renewable energy through solar panels. The UK is a promising market for solar schools due to the growing efforts of the government and other autonomous organisations to reduce the country’s carbon emissions. There are over 24,000 schools in the UK, most of them have large roofs but less than 1% of them have invested in solar energy. This pictures a great opportunity but also a tough challenge.
Energy is a big budget item for schools, and they worry about the uncertainty and volatility of prices for energy in the future when overall education spending is very tight.” said Bruce Davis, Joint Managing Director of Abundance Generation.
Installing solar panels in schools has a double benefit. On one hand, the school can cover its energy needs and also gain some income by selling the surplus back to the grid. On the other hand, installing solar panels is a great showcase example for the young students to see the “renewables” at work. The teaching module around renewables is actually cross-curricular, involving: geography, climate, science, design and technology.
To meet the demand for more educational tools for young students, a website called GreenMatch has developed a guide to solar energy. Presented in an ABC mode, to make it more interactive and fun, the guide explains the steps one needs to take in order to install solar panels. Technical details of photovoltaics are also explained along with examples.
The goal of the ABC guide is to get the attention of young students and help teachers get their message across. The guide is a perfect case taking business, moral and educational purposes in one article. Maybe ultimately it will inspire the community to take action and address climate change issues.