- The main purpose of this project is to provide electric lights to Peace School - its 10 classrooms, office, and dormitories. Because Uganda’s feeble electric grid does not reach the school, this project is part of a larger commitment to generate onsite electricity and biogas from sun, wind, and waste materials.
- A hybrid renewable energy system will be installed with enough capacity to meet both the needs of the school and nearby neighbors, thus creating a potential revenue stream for this private school.
- An applied curriculum will be developed to introduce children to the fundamentals of power generation and maintenance of renewable energy systems. The students will share responsibilities for servicing and maintaining the energy systems. In turn, they can help their families and community members develop the capacity to operate onsite renewable energy systems as they become available.
- Providing modern energy generated via renewable resources will avoid releasing harmful greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Additionally, indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps and cooking over open fires will be curtailed.
Peace Nursery and Primary School in Uganda is partnering with AHEAD Energy to generate onsite energy. Three renewable sources of energy will be installed: wind power, solar power, and biogas. Electricity will be used to power lights, kitchen appliances, and classroom electronics. Biogas will be used for cooking and water heating. Currently, the electric grid does not reach the school. Daylight alone illumines the classrooms and kerosene lamps are used by students to study at night. With rising petroleum prices, the cost of paraffin is so high that only the older students are provided with lamps.
The school prepares 90 meals a day for its boarding students and teachers. Cooking is done over highly polluting wood fires. Refrigeration is nonexistent – a major problem. The school lacks hot water for bathing, laundry and cleaning. There are no electronics or access to the Internet in classrooms to enhance learning.
Electricity will be generated from both solar and wind power. A hybrid system provides greater reliability, since sunshine cannot be captured at night and wind patterns are irregular. With the equator running directly through Uganda, there is plenty of sunshine. Even in the rainy season (April – June) the sun shines several hours per day. In addition, solar thermal heating will provide hot water for bathing, cleaning, and cooking.
A biodigester will supply gas to the school kitchen. Since the school earns operating funds by raising poultry, chicken manure will provide the basic feedstock for the biodigester along with food scraps, “humanure” from the latrines, and agricultural waste from nearby farms. A biodigester will enhance sanitation and produce clean fertilizer for gardening.
Currently, over 90% of Ugandans depend on wood and charcoal for the energy to meet daily tasks. Without domestic petroleum resources, the country’s modern energy system is limited to locally produced hydropower or imported petroleum products. Escalating oil prices and rainfall variations make Uganda’s power supply highly volatile. Thus, the Government of Uganda has recently adopted a Renewable Energy Plan to encourage development of alternative power generating systems.
Schools are an excellent location to introduce renewable energy technologies. The school community can assume responsibility for maintaining the system. The scale of projects (larger than household scale but smaller than commercial scale) is well suited to renewable technologies.
- Currently, undergraduates at the University of Rochester are working with AHEAD Energy to identify the most appropriate energy generating technologies, light fixtures, kitchen appliances and classroom electronics for Peace School.
- In February 2009, a site visit will be made to the school by AHEAD Energy staff and a University of Rochester undergraduate. Guided by staff from the Ugandan Ministry of Energy, they will visit sites where renewable energy technologies are operating and explore local channels for obtaining needed equipment and supplies.
- When adequate funding has been secured, AHEAD staff will head up a team of university students to install the hybrid energy system at the school.
- AHEAD staff and university students will work with the teachers at Peace School to develop a science curriculum that embraces the fundamentals of energy production while servicing and maintaining the energy system at Peace School.
- Students will graduate from the school with an understanding of how an energy system works and have the capacity to maintain similar systems in their homes, places of business, and community centers.
Uses of Funds:
- Purchase of LED lights $300
- Wiring of buildings $150
- Installation of LED lights $50