Renewable energy systems use energy that naturally occurs in the environment. This can either be carbon free such as solar, wind and water or carbon neutral such as biomass. Carbon neutral is where the carbon emissions are offset by the carbon sequestration through the growth of new timber.

Renewable energy should be incorporated into a school at the planning and design phase as this will enable the appropriate infrastructure to be installed such as cabling and metering. The type of appropriate technologies will vary depending on the sites topography and geography, the climate and the size of the school. A combination of on-site generation sources should be considered.

Renewable energy systems will normally be linked to the national grid so that energy can be imported /exported to the grid depending on the energy demand and supply situation. In this way energy supply is secure all year around despite the potential intermittency of supply and income can be generated by exporting energy to the grid during periods when the school is closed.

Due to its relatively low cost, gas is generally the cheapest fuel option where schools are linked to the gas network. However, for schools that are off the gas network, renewable energy supply sources can be much more financially viable when compared to oil.

Opportunities are currently available to make renewable energy supply  systems more financially viable. These include the Feed In Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive.

What should I do?

Commission a feasibility study by an energy consultant to indentify appropriate options for your particular site.

WLGA - CLILC Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru / Welsh Assembly Government