Education minister wants more solar panels in schools


Hilde Crevits has asked the education sector to formulate proposals for how individual schools can contribute to Flanders’ energy targets, including the installation of solar panels

16.6 million m2

Flemish education minister Hilde Crevits has challenged schools to propose measures to help the region reach its climate goals. Installing solar panels in schools could go a long way towards meeting the goals, she told the Flemish parliament this week.

Currently, 14% of schools in Flanders generates energy. “This reduces energy costs and contributes to the development of renewable energy in Flanders,” said the minister. The 2013 school buildings monitor shows that schools have a total surface area of 16.6 million square metres, a majority of which is occupied by buildings. The government agency for infrastructure in education, Agion, will now examine how to best promote the installation of solar panels on school roofs.

The initiative is consistent with the government’s Solar Plan, approved two weeks ago. The Solar Plan encourages both businesses and families to investment in solar energy by expanding energy loans, among other measures. Non-profits and associations can borrow up to €15,000 for energy-saving measures at a 1% interest rate over 10 years.

In the run-up to the 1 December Flemish Climate Summit, Crevits will organise two round-table discussions on climate and education. She has asked the education sector to formulate proposals on ways to reach climate goals. The sector’s plans will be presented at the summit.