Solar Schools for Covid-19 Economic Recovery

Powering Australia’s schools with solar is an opportunity to generate jobs and stimulate the economy, at a time of continued uncertainty.  Industry analysis is showing how investment in renewables can rebuild Australia’s economy.

Australian Parents for Climate Action (AP4CA) have submitted an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, asking for funding to equip all schools and early childhood centers with solar and batteries.  The ‘Solar our Schools’ campaign is being promoted as a way to boost Covid-19 economic recovery.

Image: Australian Parents for Climate Action

The Australian Parents for Climate Action have 6000 members from all states and territories across Australia.  AP4CA believes federal support will make it easier for schools to benefit from solar, cutting electricity bills and reducing emissions.

AP4CA have used research from the Beyond Zero Emissions Million Jobs Plan.  Beyond Zero Emissions, a green think-tank, compiled a report detailing how Australia’s economy can be sustainably rebuilt.  PV Magazine Australia writes of the Million Jobs Plan:  “It believes Australia’s economy can rebuild and create 1.8 million new jobs through renewables and low emissions projects over the next five years. The plan already has strong support, including Mike Cannon-Brookes, Ross Garnaut, Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin McCann, and Christiana Figueres.”

Whilst a number of solar on school programs have already been operating, 42% of the 9503 private and public schools still don’t have solar and/or batteries.  If 4000 schools were to uptake solar, it would create 6870 jobs and save 395,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

School solar programs that are already underway are seeing real benefits in electricity cost saving and jobs creation. In Queensland, 32,000 solar panels have been installed on State schools, generating 11 megawatts of power.  Queensland’s Education Minister Grace Grace announced in May 2020, funding for a further 580 schools to receive solar panels and other energy saving measures. Mrs Grace said, “It is also helping to support valuable jobs in the renewables industry across the state during this COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mrs Grace said, “As part of the Government’s commitment to unite and recover our state following the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACES (Advancing Clean Energy Schools) program continues to support local businesses and sub-contractors in achieving the program’s targets. We are maintaining a consistent pipeline of work, in turn supporting the tradespeople who have been working in many of our communities across Queensland.”

Innovation in renewables is helping drive the shift to solar.  ABC News reported that as part of a State coronavirus recovery stimulus in Western Australia, Perth is receiving $4 million to power schools and their neighbouring communities with solar and batteries.

The 10 schools to benefit from the program will act as ‘virtual power plants.’  These systems will make better use of the electricity generated throughout the whole year, including the school holidays.  Zoe Keenan reported from ABC, “Premier Mark McGowan said he expected the initiatives would create thousands of jobs.”

Solpod recognises how investing in renewables will help Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic.  Solpod’s redeployable pods are perfect for school portables or demountable buildings as the pods can be easily removed and installed elsewhere.  Solpods are also appropriate for school buildings with old rooftops that are scheduled for replacement in the coming decade.

Solpod’s innovative pods and rooftop mounting solution are fully Australian made and manufactured. Solpod recently celebrated being officially recognised as Australian Made by The Australian Made Campaign.

Solpods are prefabricated in a factory in Dandenong, an area of South East Melbourne highly regarded for its manufacturing.  As Solpod’s are prefabricated, Solpods are efficient to install and remove. A standard solar installation may take several weeks. A 40kW – 100kW Solpod rooftop installation takes only 1/2 day – 1 day to complete respectively.

To find out more about Solpod’s moveable and rentable rooftop solar solution, contact or +03 9089 0753.