LEARNERS IN THE SMALL TOWN OF PRIESKA ENJOY LEARNING ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM THE CREW ON THE ENERGYDRIVE BUS
On the final leg of its journey through the Northern Cape Province, the EnergyDRIVE, an educational initiative by the renewable energy industry, visited the small town of Prieska to engage with Gariep High and Prieska High schools. As with the many communities that the iconic yellow “edu-tainer” bus is visiting across the country, it became the focal point for high school learners.
As one of the learners who found the EnergyDrive’s visit to Prieska High School interesting, said, “Amid the load shedding challenges, I’m grateful to realize that we can use solar and wind power to produce renewable energy, which can be utilized for our household electricity needs. This presents a promising solution to the ongoing power crisis, as renewable energy is a sustainable resource,” said Tasmeen Faro, Prieska High School.
This unique educational experience, which aims to engage and inspire the next generation, is possible through funding from MBP Solar, Prieska’s local solar power plant. Learners have been given an opportunity to explore the intriguing world of renewable energy through interactive and engaging means.
Celiwe Mabaso, Senior Social Performance Manager at BTE Renewables, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “The EnergyDRIVE bus gives us a fun and interactive way to introduce green technologies to our grade 8-11 learners and communities. We’re hoping that this interactive initiative will spark interest in learners and motivate them to actively be part of the renewable energy space.”
By the end of this year’s journey (2017-2023), the EnergyDRIVE will have reached over 7,000 learners in Grades 9 to 12, showcasing its significant impact in promoting renewable energy technologies in outlying communities close to wind farms and a few solar PV farms across the country.
The EnergyDRIVE project continues to leave a mark, not only on learners in Prieska but across 21 communities in the three Cape provinces, as it empowers the youth and nurtures the leaders of tomorrow. This programme is a partnership between the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and key institutions, including Durban University of Technology (DUT), South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), and the Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA), and has been further strengthened with the inclusion of the Green Youth Network this year. This partnership emphasizes the commitment to community development, education, and sustainability.
The EnergyDRIVE features a container with engaging interactive models that enhance the comprehension of various renewable technologies. These exhibits not only promote awareness of renewable energy sources but also address pressing concerns related to climate change. With a solar roof structure, biogas digester, photovoltaic panel display, and a solar hot water unit, the EnergyDRIVE offers valuable insights into the advantages and applications of renewable energy.