More sun in Germany’s schools

UBA President assumes sponsorship of nationwide school contest

The "Solarenergie macht Schule e.V." association is now looking for the most solar-energy oriented school in Germany. “Solar energy is becoming more and more significant, which is why our youth should learn about it earlier on,” says President Jochen Flasbarth of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), who has taken on sponsorship of this contest. With respect to a secure energy supply fit for the future, solar energy in particular is a key component. The solar power industry has also proven to be important both as a sector of the economy and field of work. The sector provided more than 120,000 jobs in 2010. The share of solar energy in Germany’s power mix could reach 19% by 2050.

Schools can demonstrate their commitment to solar energy in the “Solarenergie macht Schule” contest. Teachers and pupils can enter the contest by submitting lesson plans and campaigns, for example self-made solar panels or small-scale studies on any aspect of photovoltaics. Various perspectives of solar energy should be the focus of the campaigns. Participation is open to all secondary and vocational schools in Germany. The deadline for entries is 30 November 2011. The winning team will receive a prize at the world’s biggest solar energy trade fair, Intersolar, in June 2012 in Munich. “In order to secure and expand on the competitive edge Germany enjoys, it is important to take timely measures to prevent a future shortage of qualified experts. The contest can play a role in this regard,” said Flasbarth.

The share of solar energy in Germany’s total gross electricity consumption in 2010 was just about 2%. Germany’s electricity supply system could make a complete transition to renewable energies by 2050. According to UBA’s Energieziel 2050: 100% Strom aus erneuerbaren Quellen [Energy target 2050: 100% renewable electricity supply] study, about 19% of national demand for electricity could be supplied from solar energy in 2050.

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