Harnessing the power of the sun can not only help us curb global warming, triggered by the burning of fossil fuels, but it can also teach us valuable lessons on sustainability. No wonder, solar energy has become a popular choice among schools, aiming to save their energy costs and reducing carbon footprint. Thus, in 2022–23, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi worked in association with the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE). Their alliance was aimed at promoting the use of renewable energy in the schools, exclusively, of Himachal Pradesh. Under this project, solar panels were installed in 18 government schools during the year, and their staff and students were trained for using and maintaining the equipment.
A commemoration event for the project’s first phase was organized during CSE’s Green School’s Carnival 2023 on 22 February 2023 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. This phase-completion event, addressed as the ’Teacher’s Workshop: Solar 30—Using Renewable Energy in Schools,’ summarized all the project’s outcomes. Its highlights are best quoted by the various teachers and students who were its participants.
Rakhi Bali, a teacher from the Government Senior Secondary School (GSSS), Chamba, reported, “The solar panels have helped us reduce our carbon footprint and made our school more environment-friendly. We reduced our energy costs and contributed to a more sustainable future.” The solar energy generated in these schools powered all their lighting and electrical appliances, and the significant cost savings were utilised to fund other initiatives. With low greenhouse gas emissions, their environmental stewardship increased their resilience to the global climate crisis.
Sapna Kamboj from GSSS Dharampur, Solan, confirmed, “The solar panels are a great teaching tool for our students. They are able to learn about renewable energy and sustainability in a practical and hands-on way.” No wonder, the student attendees were particularly interested in the DIY activity included in the workshop. They were given an opportunity to assemble a small, solar study lamp, under the guidance and direction of some experts. The students were encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussions, and the supervisors were meant to provide their knowledge and practical experience of working on solar technology. The instructors spread awareness about the benefits of home-based solar energy systems, including the tools and expenses involved, and their best practices. Thus, the workshop helped boost CSE’s goals of promoting solar energy.