Solar Schools – Supporting Communities
Solar Schools is a New Zealand initiative which helps schools reduce bills, monitor their savings + provide curriculum modules on solar energy.
I'm pretty proud that here in New Zealand we derive over 70% of our electricity from renewable energy (primarily hydro, wind and geothermal) – with our more recent forays into wind energy expected to push this rate up even further over the next 20 years.
Earlier this year,
Solar Schools launched a crowdfunding initiative to fund a 60 panel solar system at a local school. The Solar Schools programme helps get solar panels onto school roofs by reducing or eliminating the up-front cost. They use hybrid investment approaches such a corporate fund matching, crowdsourcing, subsidised loans and more. They also provide training modules for teachers keen to help their students learn more about solar power. They even have a solar savings meter which gives an indication to schools of how much money they could save by switching to solar power.
"The technology is a viable option for New Zealand schools to produce power and feed it back to the grid, particularly over the long summer holiday periods, " mentions a local school principal.
How might umbrella organisations help communities offset the upfront costs of switching to renewable energy?
How might digital tools help communities predict their savings from switching to renewable energy?
How might community initiatives for renewable energy be transformed into learning opportunities for students?