Schools in the UK wanting to go solar but that are strapped for cash are able to participate in a new crowdfunding service.
As was the case in Australia, UK schools were previously able to benefit from generous government incentives to install solar; but most of that support has now dried up and the situation is preventing many schools from accessing solar power.
SolarSchools provides resources, training and staff support to help schools raise funds for a solar array. Each school is also provided with a web page on the Solar Schools site to showcase their project and act as a rallying point for fundraising.Each school’s page features a representation of solar panels and each solar panel is split up into tiles. Donors sponsor a cell with a £5 donation. When a donation is made, the cell is replaced with an image or avatar representing the donor. Once the funding target is reached, construction of the solar array can begin.
“It’s a chance for pupils, parents, local businesses, former students and everyone else to do something good for their school, their community, and the whole world,” states the Solar Schools web site.
Last month, Barnes Primary School in Richmond was the first school to reach its funding target of £10,000.
Solar Schools is run by 10:10, a grassroots movement seeking to inspire all sections of society to cut carbon emissions.
Solar power systems are a way for schools to take practical action to reduce emissions and electricity bills, while providing educational benefits for students in learning about renewable energy and environmental stewardship. Additionally, schools with solar panels installed act as inspiration for students to enter into clean energy careers.
While Australia’s National Solar Schools Program (NSSP) is no longer accepting applications, given the substantial reduction in solar power equipment costs and increasing electricity prices; solar still provides a viable way for schools to reduce their running costs.
Source: Energy Matters