To accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero, the nation requires a mix of renewable power sources and solar energy is a key player in this mix.
As of the end of September 2021, there were 1.1 million solar installations across the UK.* Pursuing the development and operation of these solar farms has now become an intergenerational responsibility.
Green energy education
To continue this legacy, Downing is pleased to be partnering with Earth Energy Education, a company dedicated to getting children out of the classroom and visiting renewable energy sites across the UK to educate them about green energy.
During the 2021/22 school year, Earth Energy Education facilitated 10 school visits to several ground-mounted solar projects managed by Downing. During these trips, the children will learn what makes solar energy renewable and its environmental benefits. Perhaps most importantly, the children learnt about the relationship between climate and energy consumption - important knowledge when addressing climate change.
Additionally, Earth Energy Education arranged five classroom “solar toy design and make days" leading to one big inter-school solar car race day. By constructing solar toys and sun-fuelled cars, children were able to get to grips with how solar technology can be used in a hands-on session.
Finally, the group held five “power your school” workshops. Working with a UK-wide network of scientists, children had the opportunity to record energy data in their school. They will use this data to design the best location to install solar panels or wind turbines. It will be a valuable exercise for the children who will learn about the efficiencies of installing renewable energy generators.
In all, these vital sessions will hopefully inspire around 1300 children. With these children, the future of solar is looking bright.
An intergenerational responsibility
Downing’s Head of Asset Management, Tom Moore, underlined the importance of passing on practical knowledge of renewable energy: “We are proud to be partnering with Earth Energy Education. Dedicated time to facilitate education around solar power is an important steppingstone in our pathway to net zero. While a lot of the responsibility for action still lies with our generation, if we can inspire children about the role of solar in tackling climate change, we can make some tangible and sustainable steps in creating a viable renewable energy mix.”
Earth Energy Education’s Lorna Lyle also commented: “We are proud that Downing chose us to be their educational delivery partner. We cannot wait to share our real-life learning experiences with the schools near their sites. Through our partnership, we will be organising school visits to Downing-managed solar farms where children will learn more about light, electricity, renewable energy and ways to combat climate change.
We will be able to deliver our Power Your School workshop with five schools helping to move the schools towards a net zero future. We will also be working with several schools bringing them together to develop solar toys and solar cars.
With this partnership, we hope to break down barriers for children entering into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers and inspire the next generation to achieve their goals.”