Earlier this month Labour revealed plans that would use crowdsourcing to fund and support rooftop solar panel systems for schools. It is in a bid to lower carbon emissions throughout Essex and the rest of the U.K. and to raise awareness of sustainable energy. Currently, in the Greater London area, only 1 in 15 schools have some form of rooftop solar installation; something which Green Pulse Energy, along with the Labour party, are keen to change.
Schools that take part in this scheme would not only benefit from dramatically lowered energy bills but also have the added bonus of creating revenue from selling any surplus electricity sold back to the national grid. A typical school is estimated to make around £8,000 a year from the feed in tariff of a 50kw system. It would also let schools become less reliant on the big six energy companies.
The government’s role would be to connect with headteacher’s and help them crowdsource the funds required to outright buy a system as currently schools are unable to get finance packages. Civil servants would also help by getting schools linked up with the national grid and ensuring payments from the feed in tariff can be achieved.
New statistics released by Friends of the Earth project that if every school in the U.K. were to install a rooftop solar system the energy generated would be the same as that of 380,000 homes and would cut carbon the emissions the same amount as taking 110,000 cars off the road. Friends of the Earth, just last month, echoed the Green Party’s calls for London Mayor Borris Johnson to create a solar pv delivery system. This system would generate £210,000 to help get school based solar systems off the ground.
Even further support has been drawn up from the charity Solar Schools which has set a target of just under £1m in order to help provide solar to 66 schools. Just over half of that target has been already been achieved through crowdsourcing methods in the last six months.
We truly hope that all the support for solar pv systems for schools pays off soon and that places of education all over the U.K. can start saving energy, money and even make some revenue from incentives. With all that unused roof space, just waiting to be used, surely it makes sense to use solar.