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How one school in rural Spain plans to produce its own renewable energy?

Home Communities For Future Forums España COMETS How one school in rural Spain plans to produce its own renewable energy?

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    Joan Segura

    Data from the EU Energy Poverty Observatory indicate that the estimated number of energy-poor citizens in the European Union varies between 50 and 125 million people. These are the people who, due to several factors, such as low income, high energy needs and energy prices, fail to maintain adequate levels of energy services at an affordable cost. More than the energy problem, this is a human rights issue, with consequences much wider and potentially more serious for the whole environment and the planet. In these circumstances, the change of energy models and democratisation of energy is urgent and highly necessary.

    For this reason, the POWERPOOR project is actively working to support innovative solutions to tackle the issue of Energy Poverty and accelerate a just and inclusive energy transition through the use of alternative finance schemes, and as one of its first results to achieve its ambitious goal it is partnering with Greenpeace, and other organisations in the public and private sector that gathered around a very special initiative in a school in rural Spain.

    La Energía del Cole” is an initiative that aims to create “an energy community that will generate and manage its own renewable solar energy to facilitate collective self-consumption between the school and families with children in school in an efficient, sustainable and fair way, in a process of energy empowerment that starts at school and extends to the whole locality”. “We will ‘grow’ our own energy, like tomatoes. And we share it out in a fair way”, was the answer the children of the Virgen de los Remedios Eco-school in Arroyomolinos de León gave when asked about the idea behind the campaign.

    To achieve this goal, they wish to raise money for the photovoltaic installation, from 22 to 42.5 kWp, for collective self-consumption owned by citizens in their village. For this, they need between 40,000 and 60,000 € in the next 34 days.

    Crowdfunding, as a simple and alternative way of funding, brings people together around the common goal, making it a perfect tool for supporting important and relevant initiatives, promoting them and transparently showcasing the distribution of funds.

    If the necessary funding for the photovoltaic installation is reached, it will be in accordance with the expected power, it will have the legal support of the MUTI Association, and the energy produced will be distributed between the school building and around 30 homes of local families. But much more than the instant solution the project could bring to the community, its true value lays in the importance of education and showing by example how sustainability can be achieved. And what better place than a school to put it into practice?

    To support the project, check out the La Energía Del Cole campaign on GOTEO platform.

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