Sustainable energy in schools

Sustainable energy in schools increased in deployment largely thanks to the Solar Schools program. Schools who embrace solar power tend to have a policy on energy sustainability and improving triple bottom line outcomes. Students are likely to observe their schools approach to renewable energy and see how it affects their lives and learn how they can impact on their community awareness of renewable energy. Sustainability and renewable energy is a fast growing part of our world and economy. An appreciation for what this will mean in the future is valuable to the students of today.

The sustainable energy in schools website is designed to encourage and congratulate the schools and government on this initiative and hope for it to be restarted in the future to continue this success.

Schools with sustainable and renewable energy:

  • Reduce their environmental impact
  • Obtain some of their daily energy requirements from solar power
  • Teach students about sustainable energy sources
  • Provide local jobs for solar installers
  • Demonstrate solar pv system technology

This was a terrific government program, Solar Schools which provided the technical and financial basis for this concept of sustainable energy in schools should be encouraged to continue.

In the Solar School system the school remained connected to the normal electricity supply and is called a grid tied or grid interactive system. The PV Solar System may generate more power than is being used by the school, which is then fed back into the electricity grid.

Benefits of the Solar Schools program

  • ‘free’ electricity for the school – with a 2 kV system this is the equivalent of 9 computers and lighting for 3 classrooms
  • a 2 kV system displaces approx 2.9 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from non renewable energy sources
  • the PV system works silently and produces no pollution
  • schools require electricity during daylight hours, which is when solar power is generated
  • students have access to both the PV system and a range of computer-based education materials, developed to raise their awareness of the green energy technologies of the future

It would be good to see the size of these systems increased to cover more of the energy usage of the schools. Much of the power is used during the day with little at night so it makes sense to offset the energy used from the grid with solar pv installations.