Educating the young

EDF Energy’s Green Fund and the Low Carbon Building Programme have funded a £50,000 solar panel installation project at Ilfracombe C of E Junior School.

The 10.2kW panels will help power computers and lights to save 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Solar thermal panels will be installed to reduce the amount of gas used to heat water in the kitchens. Together the schemes will result in a 10 per cent reduction in electricity use and a 70 per cent reduction in water heating for the kitchen.

Each classroom will also have web-based access to live data showing how much electricity has been generated by the technology and how much carbon dioxide will be saved.

Headteacher Catherine Cox said: ‘This project will not only support our planet’s sustainable future but will promote our future generation’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of seeking and using renewable energy sources.’

EDF Energy’s director sustainable future Peter Hofman added: ‘Young people have their whole lives ahead of them as energy consumers and children at this school are learning how small changes make a big difference to the environment.

‘This solar project is the next step and will give thousands of children a first-hand experience of renewable energy in their own school grounds.’

The school has an active eco-team involving teachers and children. One member has set up the school’s recycling of paper, cardboard, stamps, printer cartridges, spectacles, mobile phones and batteries. This has reduced waste to landfill by more than 30 per cent. Every week the school composts over 60kg of school dinners and lunch waste and use it in the organic vegetable garden.

EDF Energy has awarded £3.6m to 200 renewable energy projects since the Green Fund was launched in 2001. The fund aims to showcase renewable energy projects, which produce power from the sun, wind, water and geothermal sources.