The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), has announced that it will board the much loved renewable energy educational road trip, the EnergyDRIVE, as a partner in this year’s campaign, next month.
“We view SANEDI as a strategic partner as their mandate resonates with SAWEA’s objectives of equipping South Africa with a healthy skills pipeline in the renewable energy sector skills,” explained Lindo Sibiya, Programmes Manager at SAWEA who, in partnership with the Durban University of Technology (DUT), are the organisers of the EnergyDRIVE.
As a partner on this year’s road trip, SANEDI will be taking up the opportunity to address each and every one of the thirteen participating schools on topics like energy efficiency technologies, which are being illustrated and demonstrated using lighting, heating and infrastructure. Topics will also include energy reduction at home. This presentation will also inform learners on how renewable energy is contributing towards the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by power stations in relation to the reduction in electricity demand, which the organisers believe learners will find very interesting.
“With the current challenges faced by the country in terms of energy supply and demand, it is imperative to sew the seed amongst learners, as future leaders, so that they begin to think of alternatives that will not only satisfy the energy demand but protect the environment as well. It is important that learners are exposed to energy alternatives such as renewable energy, amongst others, and encourage them to be innovative in their career pursuit,” said Mr Bongani Xakaza, Logistics and Events Coordinator for SANEDI.
The 2021 EnergyDRIVE will kick-off on 1 September and wrap up by 20 September, with school learners and wind farms already preparing to welcome the return of the much-loved yellow bus, in what has become an annual pilgrimage.
With the view that school learners are the leaders and decision 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 energy adaptation and mitigation capacities of communities, whilst empowering youth to adopt sustainable lifestyles.
Additionally, SAWEA hopes to impart a broad vision of the opportunities that lie within the wind energy industry of South Africa, available to learners once they complete their High School careers or tertiary studies.
This year, the converted mobile edu-unit will make its way to remote communities where learners often do not have access to information about renewable technologies and although not all wind farms are able to allow access, due to CV-19, many will be opening up. This includes Umoya Energy Wind Farm (West Coast, Western Cape); Cookhouse Wind Farm (Eastern Cape); and Perdekraal East Wind Farm (Ceres, Western Cape).
The EnergyDRIVE, which is designed to be interactive, enticing and educational, kicked off in 2017 and has already reached around 3 000 learners. 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 edu-unit are made up of a battery bank, photovoltaic components and a TV and display cupboards, making it an inspirational and experiential teaching aid.