Solar PV panel and energy awareness workshops
Organising DIY, open-source, open-minded workshops about renewable power and raising awareness exploring the challenges of energy demand in our society.
Description of the problem
In our society most of the people living in cities are not aware of the amount of energy we devour and the way it is consumed. Many people feel a need of getting to know energy demands, consumption and production empowering themselves on the topic. Also practical skill learning is something that we, as a society of the disposable items, are losing and that makes our collectivity less resilient.
AnalysisThe vision of Demand Energy Equality (DEE) is a society in which there is equality of access to secure and ecologically sound energy resources for all. The mission is to contribute to a resilient and just energy transition by spreading energy literacy and practical energy skills, and increasing awareness of the need to fairly reduce energy consumption in global north countries to deal with climate change and resource availability. The people of DEE work with communities, organisations and individuals to open up renewable energy to all – using fun, practical learning to spread knowledge, skills and confidence to engage in the future of energy. The terms DIY, open-source, open-minded ethic means everyone is invited.
Risks and precautions
- One important barrier to overcome is to find a solar panel producer that can provide scrap materials. In case it results hard to find any supplier, workshop on energy awareness is a good alternative, and solve the main problem of getting people to know the challenges of todays society
- OFF-Grid mounting can be interesting for getting people to know energy demands and calculation, but it would not give an impact on energy consumption. The basic idea to keep in mind with these kind of workshops is that they are not thought to solve the energy problem, but to raise awareness and empower people with practical skill learnings.
- Legal barriers, depending on the country, for workshops related with potential danger to users (electricity, soldiering etc.), and also legal constraint for the materials (for instance, how to reclaim the materials which is supposed to be a waste).
- It is a complementary tool to Raising Awareness for todays need for Transition, and get people to do something in that direction.
- The workshops can become a practical way to raise awareness in terms of energy consumptions (in the workshops you make calculations on energy wasted versus energy produced and HOW)
- Practical skills learning is one of the most important advantage of this kind of events. In a world where most of the urban people are unable to change a plug, empowering people with practical skills gives resilience to both collectivity and communities
- The documents are open to everyone, downloadable here
- The workshops are thought for drug addicts. Hence this is a way to reintroduce them into the society.
- Depending on the context, while OFF-Grid system mounting could be a counterproducing scheme for energy resilience in urban environment, in isolated contexts (i.e. low income communities isolated from cities) it could be an interesting scheme for basic electricity supply. See for example Acciona microenergia
Case studyThe headquarter is in London (UK) and the workshops are held in London and Bristol.
Tips for adaptation
- Getting to know the legal aspects for organizing workshops related with potential dangers for participants.
- Get in contact with a local solar cell producer or distributor for getting broken solar panels.