A first of its kind in Africa, the custom-built EnergyDRIVE truck has arrived in the Northern Cape on the last leg of its three-week national educational road show. The initiative aims to raise awareness of renewable power resources and climate change.
Featuring a solar roof structure, biogas digester, photovoltaic panel display unit as well as a solar hot water display unit, the EnergyDRIVE teaches learners about the benefits and uses of renewable energy technologies., By the time it wraps up its visits in the Northern Cape and circles back to KwaZulu Natal at the end of the month it will have engaged with over 2 500 high school learners across the country.
Two participating solar farms, namely De Aar Solar Power and Droogfontein Solar Power, have funded a portion of the road show as well as hosting field trips for participating learners, from Monwabisi Senior Public School in De Aar and Kimberley Boys High School. The event was attended by Sanele Dlamini and Audrey Malatji from Droogfontein Solar.
“The mobility of this custom-built vehicle makes it ideal to reach outlying high schools across the country. 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.
The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) 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.
The mobile unit departed from Durban on 3 November, making its way through the Eastern and Western Cape before arriving in the Northern Cape on 20th November and will circle back to KwaZulu Natal on 24 November, having spent time in host renewable energy communities along the way. Whilst in Cape Town the vehicle was 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.
“This year’s EnergyDRIVE road trip successfully reached out to rural students to get them involved in the potential for renewable power technologies in a rapidly changing world,” concluded Martin.