RENEWABLES FOR SCHOOLS
Every School A Generator
As some of you may know, Renewables for Schools places a great deal of emphasis on European school programmes and incorporating what is going on in the continent over to what we are doing over here. Time and again, we've been seeing how solar PV systems on schools roofs throughout Europe have been really benefiting both the pupils and the schools' balance sheets. But we appreciate that some of you might be a little more Eurosceptic, so we've decided to take a little time to examine what's recently been taking place over on the other side of the pond.
In the US, over 3,700 schools have solar PV systems installed on their roof tops with an average of $21,000's worth of electricity bills being offset per year per school. More importantly, more than 3,000 of these systems were installed in the last 6 years; this is pretty much the same number of schools within the Greater London area.
In September last year, the Solar Foundation, along with the Solar Energy Industries Association, released a study entitled "Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools". This study took a look at every aspect of solar for schools, from the financial and educational to the environmental. The report found that schools which went solar made significant cost savings, improved their educational opportunities, and retained existing staff and resources in the face of budget cuts. The solar PV systems were found to be providing a “real-world situation” for students to sharpen their maths and science skills, and the report clearly demonstrated that there was improvement in the STEM subjects in the schools which participated. In fact, this report could not have been more complimentary of the case for schools to go solar. You can read all about it right here:
Based upon these US averages, if every school in London was to go solar, we would be looking at over £42 million's worth of electricity bills being offset every year, and that is even before we start looking at the other benefits (and before anybody points to the blazing sun of California, Arizona or Florida as being a major contributing factor behind the success of solar PV in America, it should be noted that one of the very highest uptakes of solar on schools in the USA has been the state of New Jersey: demonstrating that the ability to successfully go solar transcends geographical location).
There is every reason to expect that London will enjoy similar success, if only there is a concerted effort by the Government to make sure that schools are finally able to make the transition to solar power.
Examining the reality of every school in London going solar
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