Ysgol Bro Ingli in Pembrokeshire are top of the scoreboard in Wales for the reduction they have made to their school’s carbon emissions. The school has worked with Egni Co-op to install 25 kW of solar panels which has reduced their annual electricity consumption from the grid by 48%. In addition, they have also undertaken educational activities – including setting up an Eco/energy committee, turning off electrical appliances and exploring waterpower. You can see their energy overview here on the Energy Sparks website: https://energysparks.uk/schools/ysgol-bro-ingli
Jen James, Awel Aman Tawe’s Education Officer explains “We set up Egni Co-op which is now the largest rooftop solar co-op in the UK. We are now working in partnership with another charity, Energy Sparks, Pembrokeshire Sustainable Schools and the STEM Ambassadors Programme in Wales to achieve further energy saving. Energy Sparks have a brilliant educational platform which measures actual electric and gas consumption and solar generation in the school. Bro Ingli have been the most dynamic school I have worked with so far. Bro Ingli have already reduced their annual carbon emissions by 4 tonnes/year and are well below the carbon emissions of a typical school of a similar size – a fantastic achievement by one of our smallest schools. They are punching way above their weight and have set the target for other Welsh schools!”
Children who form Bro Ingli’s Eco Club, Cyngor Dinesydd Da, said “Using Energy Sparks has really motivated us to improve our energy usage and taught us the importance of trying to reduce climate change by doing our bit!”. Their teacher, Mr Davies, added, “Throughout the school the children are becoming more & more ethically, informed citizens.”
Awel Aman Tawe is now looking forward to working with Pembrokeshire Sustainable Schools to run a project called ‘We are Energy Warriors’ for Year 5/6 students in Pembrokeshire Schools in the Autumn term. Jen said, “This is such an important issue to educate young people on, as reducing our carbon emissions is vital in the fight against climate change. We need to act now to preserve the environment for our future generations. I am very proud to be part of a community energy organisation, working with Energy Sparks and Pembrokeshire Sustainable Schools to empower young people with the knowledge, skills, values and experiences to make real changes in their schools and communities. By using real people, real experiences and real data we aim to ensure that pupils go on a journey to lead the campaign against climate change in their school and local community.”
Awel Aman Tawe is really pleased to be working with 44 schools in South Wales where it has installed solar panel schools through Egni Co-op. Its education programme will support teachers and learners in the roll out of the innovative Curriculum for Wales 2022, providing training, resources and projects linking to the Four Purposes around which teachers will be designing their new curriculum. Ultimately, this will enable pupils to be ambitious and capable, enterprising and creative, ethical and informed and healthy and confident.
About Awel Aman Tawe and Egni
Awel Aman Tawe is a charity which has set up two co-ops, Awel and Egni Co-ops. Egni has installed 4.3 MWp of rooftop solar on 88 schools, community buildings and businesses across Wales, making it the largest rooftop solar co-op in the UK www.egni.coop
All the sites are backed by the Feed in Tariff. Egni is refinancing a loan from the Development Bank of Wales with co-op shares as this is at 5% interest whereas co-op members invest at 4% interest. This means that there is more surplus going into climate change education projects in Welsh schools.
Here’s a recent film made by double BAFTA Cymru winner, Mike Harrison about the largest rooftop solar project in Wales on the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome in Newport https://youtu.be/ZC80dcRmla0
The team behind Egni Co-op have also delivered the award-winning Awel Co-op, a 4.7MW community wind farm which was commissioned in Jan 2017. It was funded by a £5.25m loan from Triodos Bank and a £3m community share offer www.awel.coop.
In 2019, Egni Co-op won Outstanding Renewable Energy Project in an award sponsored by Welsh Government & Awel Aman Tawe was recognised as Environmental Organisation of the Year in the Social Enterprise UK Awards.
About Energy Sparks
Energy Sparks is an online, school-specific energy analysis tool & energy education programme which provides extensive support to teachers, pupils and eco-teams in learning about energy and climate change within the context of their own school. https://energysparks.uk/
About Pembrokeshire Sustainable Schools
Sustainable Schools is a well-established award scheme unique to Pembrokeshire, working with schools to embed sustainability and global learning in teaching, learning and the sustainable management of the school, in line with national priorities.
About STEM Ambassadors Programme
STEM Ambassadors is a UK programme which supports learning through helping young people to understand the real-world applications of their learning; showcases different roles and pathways into industry and raises awareness of important skills in the workplace through helping young people meet a wide range of inspiring role models, encouraging them to think about their future. https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors The STEM programme is managed by See Science in Wales https://www.see-science.co.uk/stem-ambassador-hub-parent/stem-ambassadors/