Image credit: Solar Aid
Yesterday I posted 5 reasons why going solar is about more than money. Besides the obvious moral imperative of ensuring a clean, stable environment, I noted that solar can provide security and resilience. Nowhere is this more true than in regions with minimal centralized energy infrastructure. We already know that solar can boost school performance in Africa, and even save lives by replacing kerosene.
So news that UK solar pioneers are donating solar panels for 50 schools in Zambia should be celebrated by advocates of clean energy and proponents of sustainable, international education alike. Solarcentury are, of course, no strangers to making waves at home and abroad. They've converted an old mine into a solar power plant, they've helped the UK's biggest land owner go solar, and they have installed renewable energy systems on many UK schools too. But there can be few sectors where their work has more immediate impact on quality of life than their support of Solar Aid's international development work.
News that the company is making a major donation to solar schools in Zambia, as well as a financial contribution to solar education work in Britain, should only help cement this positive impact. This from their press release:
Steve Andrews, CEO, SolarAid said: "When SolarAid puts solar panels on a school in Africa, something magic happens: exam results start to improve quickly. Solarcentury's gift of solar panels is enabling our team to bring electricity to 50 schools in Zambia; improving the prospects and hopes of thousands of children. We are incredibly grateful for their vision and generosity.
A further £35,000 has also been donated by Solarcentury to 'Sunny Schools', SolarAid's UK education programme, working with UK primary school teachers to help educate about renewable energy, climate change and development. The 'Sunny Schools' programme is part of Solarcentury's 'Solar4Schools', helping to equip UK schools with solar power. Solar4Schools has worked with over 250 schools to reduce their carbon footprint and electricity bills with solar in the UK, also helping schools go solar in Italy.
Of course in a world where inequality, instability, and poor funding for schools is a common problem, it would be naive to assume that strapping solar panels on a school roof will turn things around by itself. But helping schools to embrace modern, innovative clean technology does more than keep the lights on—it captures imaginations, and it shows that people across the Globe value education as a key part of sustainable development everywhere.
More on Solar and Education
a href="https://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/solar4schools-photovoltaics-schools.php">Solar4Schools Helps UK Educators Go Solar
Solar Boosts School Performance in Africa
Solar is a Life Saver in Rural Africa