EnergyDrive
Robinvale High School in South Africa at the previous EnergyDRIVE. Source SAWEA

School learners across South Africa’s green energy map are getting ready to welcome the EnergyDRIVE, a partnership between the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

Considering that high school learners are the leaders and decisions makers of tomorrow, the programme promotes renewable energy and climate change awareness, instilling knowledge to learners across rural communities, about the benefits and uses of clean energy technologies.

The intention is to increase awareness to create a generation of well-informed decision-makers that can play an essential role in increasing the adaptation and mitigation capacities of communities, whilst empowering youth to adopt sustainable lifestyles.

EnergyDRIVE inspiring students since 2017

Back for the third year since its inaugural 2017 trip, the EnergyDRIVE has already reached almost 3,000 learners, in Grade 9 to 12.  This year, the much loved yellow converted mobile edu-unit will make its way to remote communities where learners often do not have access to information about renewable technologies.

Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of SAWEA, explains: “This initiative stretches across the renewable technologies, to include communities within the vicinity of solar farms. In this way, we are not only reaching out to new communities in towns and rural areas but we are also attracting other technology partners and stakeholders who have a national footprint.”

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The initiative will be announcing the partners in due course, but for now have already confirmed fifteen schools across the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape Provinces.

Ntuli added that the participating wind and solar farms will each fund a portion of the roadshow, as well as host field trips for participating learners.

The EnergyDRIVE is designed to be interactive, enticing and educational. It features a solar roof structure, biogas digester, photovoltaic panel display unit as well as a solar hot water display unit. The walls of the container are made up of a battery bank, photovoltaic components, a TV and display cupboards, making it an inspirational and experiential teaching aid.

“We believe education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. It helps people understand and address the impact of global warming, increases ‘climate literacy’ among young people, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour and helps them adapt to climate change-related trends,” concluded Ntuli.