by Vaman Sankhalker
In an emerging economy like India, reliable power supply is necessary for flawless functioning in all the sectors. High power tariffs and interrupted supply of energy causes crores of losses in every sphere of economy, including schools, industries, etc. Given India’s commitment to renewable energy, investing in solar energy makes it our go-to option.
The reason I am stretching out to start this initiative through schools is to grow critical thinkers! I personally feel the clean energy dashboard will open the children’s eyes to something most people don’t think too much about. Starting from the scratch will create sensitivity, awareness and understanding among students towards clean energy.
Most of the schools in India have large flat roof, which will be ideal for solar panel. Using this space to generate electricity will cut energy cost and make a lasting impression of the students. Not only will this be helpful for environment stability, but the cost saving will also help in financial stability of such Institutions. In Sep 2017, India got its first school to completely run on Solar Energy. From ensuring basic technical literacy to providing hands on exposure via contextual learning, the Canadian International School, Bangalore runs 100 per cent on solar energy! Although the initial costs were high, the school now produces 300 KW/Hr more than enough for the daily school needs.
In a first of its many moves, the importance of generating renewable energy in the state of Goa has already kick-started. In May 2017 the Governor, inaugurated Goa’s first rooftop solar power plant at Raj Bhavan, Dona Paula. The plant has a capacity of generating 30,000 units per year and is expected to bring down the power bills of the entire complex. While in a latest move the Government is in its final stages to install a 100KW Solar Plant at Central Jail, Colvale.
Under the Make in India project, the manufacturing and assembling of solar roofs can be done by local entrepreneurs and engineers. This can reduce the initial high cost. If we are going to encourage schools to take a step ahead, the government needs to make it easier. We need an easier application process for communities to plug into clean energy. The Rooftop programmes are perfect for schools, hospitals, government institutions as they have unvarying roofing system and are high tension consumer.
Introducing such projects in schools will give the students the skills to be innovators, find solutions and become a better thinker in the world. A school with solar system will always be the better place to learn. And this will be a step forward to reduce our Carbon Footprint!