Updated: Jan 13, 2021
Project Founder(s): Hemal Arora
School(s): United World College of South East Asia East Campus (UWCSEA East)
Solar for East is a student group based in UWCSEA East aiming to install 1,130 solar panels on the school’s rooftops and educate school community members about renewable energy and environmental sustainability. It was started by student Hemal Arora, but now the group is in the process of being passed onto a new generation of students, led by Pauline Dubois-Denis and Ayasha Nordiawan.
Solar for East began in September 2017, when 14 Grade 9 students met with the school’s Facilities Department to to address the school’s carbon footprint. The idea to install solar panels on the roof was approved in November.
As of January 2021, Solar for East has purchased 180 panels with a loan from the UWC Foundation. Initially, they were only installed when members of the community have raised enough money to pay off the loan from the foundation. However, from 2021, Solar for East is switching to a sponsorship model so that the panels can be installed and generate electricity for longer rather than waiting to be paid for. Solar for East has always engaged the school community before and during installations through the “class giving” system, in which members of the team present about solar energy to primary school students to encourage them to help raise funds and teach them about environmental sustainability. This academic year, the group is also working to integrate solar panel data and information about renewable energy into the Highschool’s IGCSE and IB curriculums.
Although the group is far from installing all 1,130 panels, it has had a big impact. Every panel installed will save approximately 3,500 kg of Carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere over its lifetime. Also, students throughout the primary school have gained environmental literacy and an appreciation for renewable energy. Real action, throughout the whole cultural iceberg.
You can find out more and support Solar for East at www.solarforeast.org