Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Solar Energy

Solar Schools Better Equipped for Recession

oil prices[social_buttons]

U.S. schools spend more on utilities than books and computers combined.

Public schools spent $8 billion on utilities in 2002, up by $2 billion from 2000, and the fluctuating utility and oil prices can be daunting when planning for the future.  Although natural gas and oil prices have come down significantly from their high last July, it is important to remember their recent impact.

“Electricity is up approximate 12%, heating oil is up 65%, and natural gas is up 40%,” said Supt. Dr. Patricia Grenier of Barnstable School District last summer. “This is nothing that anyone has done, but this is an impact that must be addressed.”

Some school districts are cutting staff or increasing taxes. Others are even considering a 4 day school week to save on fuel costs. No matter how the budgets are ultimately balanced, it is hard for anyone to get excited about paying more for energy.

An organization called Climate Cycle is gathering momentum and enthusiasm by installing solar systems in public schools. Climate Cycle organizes bike rides to raise awareness and funds to combat climate change. Proceeds from the rides are used to install the solar systems in local schools and for global warming education. The inaugural ride will be on May 9 in downtown Chicago.

solar schoolsWhy Solar as a Solution?

“Solar technology is a way to supplant the use of fossil fuels,” said Joey Feinstein, Executive Director of Climate Cycle. “Contrary to most people’s beliefs, residential and commercial buildings are responsible for the lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions. Putting solar in schools is a great way to reduce the carbon emissions of these buildings.”

Solar also saves money for schools that are struggling to balance their budgets. These solar systems are provided to schools at no cost to them, while giving children first-hand experience with solutions for global warming.  Renewable energy is seen as a rapidly growing job market, and students with greater knowledge of these technologies have an advantage in the job market.

“There will be tens of thousands of jobs in renewable energy in the future,” said Tim Herling, the director of operations at Notre Dame High School, a school with two solar systems.  “Why not put the boys in this school in the front of this industry? If this is the future, let it start here.”

 

Advertisement
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

is passionate about the new green economy and renewable energy. Sarah's experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative. When she can escape the internet vortex, she enjoys playing in the forest, paddling down rivers, or twisting into yoga poses.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

By focusing on ways to improve efficiency at its factories, EV brand Polestar has managed to reduce carbon emissions by 6% per car.

Cars

Government rebates, cash for clunkers programs, and congestion fees? New Zealand is doing a lot of things right!

Clean Transport

Ford, Volvo Cars and broad industry coalition appeals to EU to ensure all new cars and vans are zero emissions from 2035 and to...

Climate Change

Those wells need to be decommissioned so that they never again spout emissions. But promising climate action and delivering it are two entirely different...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.