The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (Ewseta) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday launched the EnergyDrive initiative, to educate rural communities on climate change and alternative energy sources.
A custom-designed truck equipped with ten solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and a 600 W wind turbine, as well as a biodigester, will undertake a road show to various schools and technical and vocational education and training colleges in rural areas.
The steel-reinforced and fibreglass truck features a battery bank, a television, interactive energy demonstration models and an energy efficiency unit, all powered by renewable-energy sources.
DUT industrial energy efficiency training and resources centre Energy Technology Station manager Professor Ian Lazarus told Engineering News Online that the programme aims to “tap into young minds” to encourage pupils to come up with innovative ideas to drive energy efficiency.
As part of DUT’s strategy to build research and innovation capacity, it will also be offering courses supporting the installation and maintenance of solar water heaters, the installation and maintenance of PV systems, as well as energy auditing.
The EnergyDrive truck will also participate in national exhibitions specifically aimed at entrepreneurs, unemployed youth, prospective DUT students and schools to create further awareness.
Lazarus added that the EnergyDrive truck will be visiting its first three schools in Gauteng this month, including Tembisa Secondary School.