A plan to repower our schools: Victoria

14 Sep 2018

High school students - both now and in the future - have a lot to lose if the worst effects of climate change are allowed to come to pass. But instead of their education being fuelled by dirty energy contributing to climate pollution, we could be powering their school activities entirely with clean renewable energy.

Not only would this inspire our young people to see and learn about what a smarter, cleaner energy future will look like, it will mean huge savings on the giant annual energy bill currently paid for by Victorian taxpayers.

Solar power and energy efficiency measures rolled out across all public high schools in Victoria would drastically reduce their overall reliance on dirty brown coal-powered electricity. However, we can go even further and ensure that schools are 100% renewable powered, 100% of the time.

In this report we’ve crunched the numbers to show just how much solar energy could benefit Victorian high schools. If we were to install a 100kW solar system on all of the 418 Victorian public high schools the results would be game-changing. They include:

  • Producing enough clean renewable energy to power the entire electricity needs of 134 schools - reducing the current electricity demand of Victorian public high schools by around 32%
  • 50.5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean renewable energy produced every year, saving 54,500 tonnes of climate-changing emissions per year. Equivalent to taking about 11,500 cars off the road.
  • Savings of $9.4million every year that can be reinvested back into climate change and clean energy education.

High schools students are our future and any career they choose will require much higher energy literacy and knowledge of how we live with and reduce climate change effects. But they’re certainly not waiting around for others to lead the transition to a renewable-powered society. Students have been leading the charge to get solar on school rooftops. What they need is for governments to follow their lead and support them with visionary policies that will turbo-charge their efforts.

Our comprehensive policy package - Repower Our Schools - is a seven-point plan outlining exactly how we can deliver 100% renewable energy powered schools and turn them into clean energy hubs for the entire community. This $97 million package is designed to maximise the multiple benefits of solar for schools including climate action, financial gains for schools and taxpayers, cuttingedge and innovative student education opportunities and positive connections to take clean energy action from the classroom to the broader community

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