The imminent threat of climate change
The increasingly erratic climate witnessed around the world such as in the United States with a myriad of hurricanes, a tsunami in Indonesia, and snow in the Sahara Desert, is often misinterpreted as an entirely man-made phenomenon. The earth has undergone natural periods of cooling and warming throughout its existence. However, we have made these more prominent and have exacerbated the detrimental effects that arise because of them. (See Figure 1.1)
Climate change is aggravated by fossil fuels, during the production of electricity, industry, and many other uses. These processes all emit greenhouse gases which are known as such because they contribute to the “greenhouse effect by absorbing and retaining infrared radiation (which promotes warmth akin to a greenhouse). The most prominent being Water (H2O), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O). Discussions regarding climate change and what to do about its detrimental implications have ramped up around the world. Developments such as the IPCC’s most recent report on climate change emphasized the necessity of reforming the way we obtain our energy and the reliance we have on non-renewable fossil fuels. The IPCC has stressed the fact that if we don’t inhibit the global temperature from rising 1.5C there would be ravaging ramifications on us and our planet. (See Figure 1.2)
Methods of potentially combating climate change
Several different initiatives have been gaining popularity around the world in a bid to mitigate and combat the adverse effects of climate change. These include; electric or alternatively powered vehicles, renewable forms of energy (solar, wind, hydroelectric etc), geoengineering, carbon capture technology and myriads of others. As you probably guessed from the name of our website, our initiative focuses primarily on combating climate change by mitigating the school's carbon footprint through the implementation and use of solar energy on campus.
Green issues have been catapulted to becoming the new imperative of the 21st century. UWCSEA issues a rallying call to the community to join forces and help create a more sustainable future. The College has an exciting program of initiatives that ensure environmental stewardship is a major part of every child's education and helps create a greener tomorrow.Solar for UWCSEA is one of the flagship projects, where the whole College community is invited to get involved and help reduce the College’s carbon footprint whilst building the knowledge and passion of the next generation of environmental champions. Solar for Dover is a student-run initiative to harness the power of the Singapore sun and create clean energy to light up our classrooms.GOALLighting up classrooms - and imaginations!A proverbial ‘light bulb moment’ struck student Raghav Shukla (Class of ‘15) when working on his Grade 5 expo project on sustainability: why couldn’t we bring to life the UWC vision of creating a more sustainable world by using solar energy to reduce the College’s own carbon footprint? One student’s brainwave inspired UWCSEA’s whole solar program. In 2012 Raghav contacted the Facilities Department to discuss his ideas. Countless hours were spent refining and tailoring his plans, and in May 2013 he presented a detailed proposal to the Facilities Committee. The atmosphere was electric - the team was excited, heads were nodding, hands were shaken - Raghav’s ambitious plan was approved. Solar for Dover launched in 2014 - with the massive goal of installing 1642 solar panels across two buildings. Six years few into the program and 1628 panels have already been installed - reducing CO2 emissions by 166 tons per year and ensuring - 162 classrooms now lit with clean solar energy. There are another 162 solar panels required to complete the next phase on Dover by 2021
WHAT WE DO
2019 Community/Donor Installation on the middle school block
Demonstrating how to properly install the solar panels and connect them to the school's electrical grid.
We had teachers, parents, donors, and kids as young as 5 join us for our installation.
Exciting field trips to institutions at the forefront of alternative energy sources, including solar.
Solar For Dover booth at the community fair; raising awareness, showing how solar energy works with a practical demonstration and raising money for our initiative.
A nice summary of our initiative and work
Grade 7 Assembly presentation on the potential detrimental impact of climate change and how solar could play a role in mitigating this impact.