Solar-for-schools projects in Bright Green Future

29 November 2016

CSE’s Bright Green Future youth programme is now well underway. The scheme, which opened to applications in the summer, is designed to create the next generation of environmental decision-makers through a programme of activities, training and mentoring for young people along with a work placement and a short summer school.

Each young person enrolled on the programme is expected to design and manage an appropriataely scaled local project tackling an environmental issue that they're interested in. So far we've been helping participants plan a variety of projects covering tree planting, waste audits and switch-off campaigns.

One of our trainees has chosen to carry out a feasibility study for the installation of solar panels on their school buildings, and this has helped us expand our own knowledge in this area, as Dan Stone explains. "Whilst this is a challenging-but-achievable project, what makes it particularly interesting is we're using www.lookup.solar, a brilliant new (and free) smartphone app developed by 10:10 that enables you to identify suitable roofs for solar PV and estimate their likely output in a few simple steps. It makes a feasibility study like this much more manageable for a 15-17 year old."

And what we've done is combine the outputs from the app with the latest real-world installation costs, feed-in-tariff rates and the current price of electricity to enable students to produce a fairly realistic assessment of the financial viability of installing solar panels on their school (or other community building) and the anticipated savings on electricity bills over 25 years.

Jesse Scharf, project manager at 10:10 said of our resource: “We couldn’t be happier that Bright Green Future are channelling Look Up’s fun and playful nature to help inspire and educate the next generation of green leaders. The shift to a low carbon future really is unstoppable. Now, thanks to Look Up and BGF’s new resources, these young people are learning the skills to make it happen.“

Dan added "We can see other Bright Green Future participants using this tool to identify developable sites within their schools, and if they find viable sites, we’ll help them to present their findings to their head teacher or board of governors and make a compelling business case for installing solar panels. What an amazing achievement that would be to put on your CV, for your first job interview!"

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