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US nonprofit Renewable Nation is encouraging schools across the country to go solar through an awareness drive around renewable energy and energy efficiency choices.

The “Solar Schools 2025” initiative has introduced the “buddy system” to pair up schools eager to go solar with schools that already have gone solar.

This week the initiative announced that it is seeking 50 K-12 (kindergarten to 12th grade) schools across the US that it can “buddy up” with schools that have already gone through the process.

According to a news release, almost every rooftop in the US has been mapped to assess its suitability for solar power generation.

“There are about 125,000 US elementary and secondary schools, of which 72,000 are solar-ready. However, only 5,489 US schools (under 8%) had gone solar through the end of 2017,” the statement read.

Renewable Nation’s project director, Scott Stapf, said: “More than nine out of 10 solar-ready schools in the United States have not yet gone solar, and the new app-driven Renewable Nation and its ‘Solar Schools 2025’ programme intend to do something about that.

“Renewable Nation uses the latest technology to help American schools and homeowners better understand and act on their renewable energy and energy efficiency choices.”

Stapf added: “For schools, solar power sends an important message to children about energy. It also saves money and conceivably can free up resources in financially pinched school districts that might otherwise be forced to cut core programmes.

“Solar Schools 2025 will work with a modest number of schools every year, but its materials will be available via the Renewable Nation app to what may be hundreds of other interested educational institutions.”

Under the initiative, Solar Schools 2025 will do the following:

  • Target 50 schools a year to “buddy up” with schools that already have gone solar.
  • Provide a step-by-step package of materials for schools that want to go solar.
  • Produce a weekly series of webinars about how schools can go solar.
  • Make available for wider consumption all video and written content originally developed for targeted schools through the Renewable Nation app.

Solar Schools 2025 is part of the Renewable Nation app, which is available now on the Google Play store and on iTunes.

KEY FACTS:  Why a renewable nation is needed

  • Researchers have identified 450 individual US school districts which could each save more than $1 million over 30 years by installing solar.
  • If all 72,000 of America’s “solar-ready” schools were to deploy typical systems, the total energy production for the schools would equal 5,400MW – an amount exceeding a third of the total solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed in the entire US.
  • We also know that about four out of five US homes (79%) are suitable for solar.
  • There is a total of 74 million single-family homes in the US, which means that about 58.4 million are ideal for solar rooftops.
  • Surveys show that more than three out of five (62%) homeowners want solar on their rooftops.
  • However, only 1.3 million home rooftop solar installations have been completed so far in the United States, which is just 2.2% of the total potential.