A new school in Kaiwaka is due to open in January that will teach households, builders, architects and council workers about solar energy, how it works and the solar opportunities in New Zealand. The school wants to see an international standard when it comes to renewable energy.
The first port of call for the school will be hosting the Northland Solar Energy Conference in September aimed at consumers. With many Northlanders struggling to pay their energy bills, during the conference they will explain how they can change that using renewable energy.
At the Renewable Energy school they want to dispel any sceptisism about solar energy technology and let families in New Zealand know about the reduced price of solar energy and how it can reduce their energy bills in the long run. As they will be teaching students the correct way to install solar panels, the school wants to create an awareness that the solar energy will help open up employment opportunities.
Those attending the school will include both national and international students. Students will be taken on a tour of large renewable energy generator sites around New Zealand.
The school has recognized the worldwide demand for people wanting to be trained in this area and the fact that the solar power industry is also demanding more qualified people. In China businesses can't keep up with the amount of training needed. Eric Jansseune who is starting the school hopes it will part of eco-tourism as it aims to attract international students. He is also seeking funding from the Ministry of Tourism.