EnergyDrive arrives in Kouga

2017-11-09 06:00
: The custom-built EnergyDRIVE truck, arrives in Kouga to teach learners about the benefits and uses of renewable energy technologies and is expected to engage with thousands of high school learners located close to wind farms.PHoto: SUPPLIED

: The custom-built EnergyDRIVE truck, arrives in Kouga to teach learners about the benefits and uses of renewable energy technologies and is expected to engage with thousands of high school learners located close to wind farms.PHoto: SUPPLIED

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THE custom-built EnergyDRIVE truck, is set to arrive in Kouga to teach learners about the benefits and uses of renewable energy technologies and is expected to engage with thousands of high school learners located close to wind farms.

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has partnered with the Durban University of Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to make this national educational road trip with the EnergyDRIVE possible. A first of its kind in Africa, the initiative aims to raise awareness of renewable power resources and climate change. Beyond Wind power, the EnergyDRIVE features a solar roof structure, biogas digester, photovoltaic panel display unit as well as a solar hot water display unit. The walls of the container are made up of a battery bank, photovoltaic components, a TV and display cupboards, making it an inspirational and experiential teaching aid.

The Eastern Cape is home to more wind farms than any other province, making it an ideal first destination on the EnergyDRIVE’s route. Participating wind farms will each fund a portion of the road show as well as host field trips for participating learners; these include: Nojoli Wind Farm, Cookhouse Wind Farm, Metrowind Van Stadens Wind Farm, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, Kouga Wind Farm and Gibson Bay Wind Farm.

“The mobility of this custom-built vehicle makes it ideal to reach high schools situated within wind farm beneficiary communities. These communities are often located in areas that are not easily accessible and learners do not easily have access to information about these technologies,” explained Brenda Martin, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association. “The container features attractive interactive demonstration models which assist with understanding a range of renewable technologies,” she added.

Eastern Cape schools include Johnson Nqonqoza Secondary School, Soqaqamba Secondary School, Rocklands Intermediate School, Hankey Secondary School, Lungiso High School, Qhayiyalethu Intermediate School.

The mobile unit departed from Durban on November 3 and will make its way through the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and the Northern Cape before circling back to KwaZulu Natal on November 24, having spent time in host communities along the way.

In Cape Town the vehicle will be exhibited at the WindAc Africa student workshop at SARETEC, creating awareness about renewable energy resources, demonstrating the use of renewable energy technologies and promoting skills development options in renewable power, before arriving at the WindAc and Windaba conferences being held at the CTICC, between November 14 and 16.

“This year’s EnergyDRIVE road trip aims to reach out to rural students and get them involved in the potential for renewable power technologies in a rapidly changing world,” concluded Martin.

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