More than half of primary school students in the developing world – nearly 300 million children – go to schools without access to electricity, as revealed by the latest Poor People’s Energy Outlook report. Emerging countries are currently facing burgeoning energy demand challenges, which are therefore putting a brake on their economic growth and plunging population into darkness.
Schools – as an integral part of every local community and culture – are of utmost importance from the perspective of maintaining and improving educational levels in line with the developmental stage of any country. Increasingly, educational facility conditions are being recognized as an important factor for student progress. In fact, with a reliable energy supply, the working hours for students and teachers would be extended, allowing the facility to operate outside daylight hours with electric lighting. In addition, keeping rooms and offices at a comfortable temperature throughout the year is also imperative for the improvement of working conditions. Schools without electricity cannot run electric fans and air conditioners during the summer, or heat classrooms in cold climates, creating consequently for the students and staff an unhealthy environment and exacerbating health problems. Coupled with low electricity availability, Internet connection and computer access are often scarce or even non-existent, which, however, serve as essential supports for higher education institutions to conduct research, complete administrative tasks and communicate effectively with the outside world. This lack of technological resources is hindering the learning and teaching process and considerably hampering educational development.
To help educational institutions take control of their energy budgets and combat the universal challenge of global warming, The meeco Group has been providing during the past years customized solar power solutions for schools in emerging countries. The challenge of bringing school children and teachers out of the dark is an effort necessary for socio-economic development, poverty reduction and an improved quality of life ensuring stability and progress and finally allowing those schools to focus and spend more on their real priority – educating young people.
By providing them with access to clean energy and reducing their operating expenses, not only meeco lights the way for emerging countries towards educational development, but also encourages next generations to learn more about environmental conservation and assimilate the value of sustainability by giving them a real time context for how they can make a positive difference for the planet.
The three following school projects have been successfully realized with the establishment of top-tier renewable energy solutions as substitutes for fossil fuels across the Asian and African continents. The Swiss-based clean energy provider The meeco Group, jointly with its several subsidiaries and joint ventures, sets up customized solar turnkey solutions while ensuring economic growth and social progress, providing a major contribution to sustainable development worldwide.
Willing to circumvent the area’s erratic and unreliable power supply, the Indian school, which was up to now exclusively running on diesel generated power, decided to switch to Solar Energy.
A 13.4 kWp PV installation combined with a solar energy storage and management system called sun2safe – designed and produced by The meeco Group – has recently been installed at the school. The school is now able to save up to 6,850 litres of Diesel per year and significantly reduce associated CO2 emissions. This solar initiative enables the educational facility to tackle rising electricity bills by reaching a new level of autarky through energy self-sufficiency and independence from the national grid.
Given the severity of the looming energy crunch occurring in Pakistan, crippling the development of the country, The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) decided to get partially off its gas and diesel costs and move to long-term sustainability by investing in solar power.
In early 2013, the Pakistani national university called upon The meeco Group and its Pakistani joint venture company oursun Solar Power Ltd. to work together for the development of electricity generation capacity and the implementation of a 322 kWp photovoltaic installation expected to produce a minimum of 502.200 kWh per year and save 43.18 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Rooftop solar plant of one of the BEC schools.
In June 2012, The meeco Group won the 750 kWp Public Tender aiming at installing solar power rooftop installations on each of the 67 Bureau de l’Éducation Catholique (BEC) schools in Mauritius.
Aiming to reduce the island’s greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy resilience, The meeco Group has been present in Mauritius via its subsidiary meeco Services (Mauritius) Ltd. and has realized more than 1.500 kWp of small-scaled turnkey projects.
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