GSP Solar in Schools Initiative 2019-20
|CSE’s Green Schools Programme organized Solar in Schools in Shimla in partnership with the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE). The initiative was launched in Shimla at GMGSSS Portmore School to sensitise teachers about the use of renewable energy. It aimed at bringing about a change in the way energy is consumed in schools. More importantly, to enhance the understanding of energy management amongst students and the need to transition to cleaner energy alternatives with lower environmental impacts.
Schools depend on conventional sources to meet their energy requirements, but a shift to renewable energy will go a long way in providing both environmental and economic benefits. Some schools that are part of the GSP network have adopted alternate sources of energy such as solar roof top (SRT) systems or using bio-pellets in place of LPG, but these are few and far between.
According to CSE’s “The State of Renewable Energy in India”, India’s focus has mostly been on commercial and industrial solar installations. Residential consumers account for less than 20 per cent of the total installed capacity, while data available for installations in educational institutions is negligible and scarce.
CSE researchers say that Himachal Pradesh has huge solar potential, though estimations vary widely. The National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) puts it at 34 GW, while IREDA has estimated a potential of about 53 GW. Decentralised generation from solar is more efficient and easy to access as in the hills, grid reliability is a constraint due to geographical, topographical and climate variability  Himachal Pradesh is also one of the 11 special category states that can claim 70 per cent of the project cost as Central Financial Assistance under the National Solar Mission, making it viable for schools.
Solar in Schools will be piloted first in Shimla, and will be rolled out in phases. The participating schools will submit an energy audit of their schools to identify the sources of energy used. For schools where solar panels have already been installed, additional questions have been included to enhance the students’ understanding of the value of the solar installations.
The Shimla pilot is a step towards addressing the existing gaps — the learnings from the pilot will help develop a model renewable energy awareness campaign among schools, with the potential to upscale at a national level. The initiative will also provide a unique educational opportunity for students to learn about technologies that have ecological benefits.
We hope to keep the renewable energy practices to take root in the school community. The documents, collaterals and photographs related to the Workshop are up for download from this page. Press link to the workshop can also be viewed by going to this link:
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