Renewable energy for schools – Creating a sustainable future
Many schools have a large roof available, perhaps covering a gym or a sports hall, maybe simply a large building full of classrooms. No wonder the government has predicted that ‘every school’ has the potential to generate its own renewable energy.
Can every school in the UK really fit solar PV or, alternatively, a wind turbine for electricity? And a biomass boiler, air or ground source heat pump for heating? The benefits are potentially enormous for school budgets, for the future of pupils, and for the nation’s tough CO2 emissions targets.
The advantages of solar energy for schools
Solar energy for schools reduces school electricity bills, making significant savings based on the size of the installation and freeing up cash to spend on educational essentials. Because solar panels can generate electricity for at least 25 years the savings stack up fast and keep on coming. In 2014 the government predicted that ‘most schools are able to accommodate a 25kWp solar PV system’.
Solar power cuts CO2 emissions, which helps the world combat climate change. A medium size system can mitigate several tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, creating significant CO2 savings over the life of the system.
Solar power might also ultimately give schools, colleges and universities a way to generate revenue, assuming that the government will eventually bring back its popular feed-in tariff schemes that pay producers for feeding spare energy back into the grid.
Talk is cheap, action means a lot more. When you want to communicate the benefits of sustainability to pupils and students, it helps if you’re actually taking action. Fitting state-of-the-art, hard-working renewable technology in schools is an excellent way to generate direct, positive engagement in young people, feeding directly into lessons. And solar in schools can even inspire the wider community to take action on climate change.
Our partner, Eden Sustainable is currently working with Oasis; One of the largest multi-academy trusts within the UK, to install solar panels across an initial 14 schools – Read more here
Tips for a top class solar PV system at your school
- Plan how you can align a curriculum-based educational plan with the solar PV installation
- Check it’s OK with your local authority
- Make sure you fully understand the terms of any warranty or guarantee
- You need to have a survey, planning and Distribution Network Operators (DNO) application, carried out by a qualified engineer or an experienced renewable technology specialist
- Know exactly how long the installation is going to take
- Consider health and safety throughout
- Make sure the installation is carried out by a certified solar PV installer
- Ensure your system will be checked regularly and maintained properly
- Make sure there’s a monitoring system fitted so you can measure output
Solar PV for schools – No finance and funding needed
In the absence of any government funding or support (More on funding here), private solar companies are coming up with some excellent deals. At Energy Renewables, for example, we provide and fit cutting edge solar PV equipment at absolutely no cost to your school, college or university.
This means you tap into clean, green power, without paying for the technology, equipment, installation or maintenance. And as a result you cut your energy overheads by as much as 50%. You can find out more about how it works here.
Ask questions about solar PV for education establishments
If you’d like to talk through the potential of no-cost solar PV for schools, we’ll be delighted to explore the ins and outs with no, no strings attached. Just give us a call or send us a message.