A small step forward for solar energy provision


In a step forward for renewable energy, SolarWorld Africa have donated an electricity generating solar panel system to a school in Cape Town and one in Botswana as part of their Corporate Social Investment project.
Since installing the R250 000 system at The German International School of Cape Town in April, over six kilowatt hours of electricity had been generated and roughly 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide saved, according to the German International School Principal Hermann Battenberg.
“It’s working well because it’s saving money and the environment at the same time,” said Battenberg.
He said learners from abroad were feeling proud, as most schools in Germany were fitted with such systems by the German government, while the South African learners were “impressed”.
But most importantly, he said, “it’s raising awareness amongst the learners and developing a consciousness around saving the environment”.
The 2.64kWp photovoltaic system provides clean solar energy to six classrooms each equipped with a PC, a smartboard, projector and various teaching aids, enabling teachers to be independent of regular power sources and at the same time allowing learners to familiarise themselves with renewable energy.
The classrooms are powered by the modules when there is sufficient sunlight and by batteries, charged by the solar energy, when it is overcast or after dark.
“We are delighted to be donating this system to the German School and contributing to the education of the learners at an early age,” said SolarWorld Africa Managing Director Gregor Küpper.
“We hope that this will be the beginning of a new era for South Africans in understanding the significance of solar power as an alternative source of energy.”
Küpper said Kaudwane Primary School in the Kweneng District in the Kalahari Desert was the other beneficiary of the solar system to ensure power supply to the school’s computer laboratory and classrooms.
Thus Kaudwane is one of the first primary schools to benefit from a constant natural energy source and be connected to the internet and other telecommunication facilities.
Küpper said “with a large focus on promoting access to education and awareness surrounding solar energy, we are happy to play a role in enabling the children at Kuadwane Primary School to have access to resources that will better their future.”
“We are happy to have partnered with SolarWorld Africa for this initiative to address the power shortage problem in this region and are confident that the community in this region will benefit greatly from the donation”, said Alan West, Managing Director of Solar West, who installed the system free of charge. – Yugendree Naidoo, West Cape News

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