The Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (Sessa) will launch its ‘Young Sessa’ division at the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) 2009 World Solar Congress, which it is co-hosting in October.
Sessa will also launch its own ‘Sessa Green Certificate’, which will allow companies, individuals, or governments to make a contribution, in multiples of R500, which will be ring-fenced for Young Sessa.
“Your purchase of a Green certificate, for R500 – and you will be encouraged to buy more than one – will contribute to the yearly membership fees to the Young Sessa division and to ISES, headquartered in Germany. The balance will be used to provide bursaries to students in the fields of sustainable energy,” explained ISES solar world congress chairperson Jon Adams.
He explained that the scheme was similar to carbon off-set programmes, which were gaining in popularity, however, instead of planting a tree, contributors would be “planting the seeds of education”.
“We don’t just want to plant trees, we want to grow people and make them sustainable members of society,” he added.
Sessa hinted that the idea had attracted interest from a major financial institution in South Africa, which may join the programme.
“The future rests in the hands of the young, and we must encourage them to join the sustainable way of life. Rather than plant a tree, support Sessa, which will be planting the seeds of education and thus contributing human capital to a sustainable future,” the society urged.
Applicants for membership would need to complete a form to join the Young Sessa division, and bursaries would be allocated after careful evaluation of candidates.
The congress in October would feature over 140 speakers, from 49 countries would deliver 177 oral presentations, and 108 poster presentations under the following themes: resource assessment; solar buildings; solar energy and society; solar heating and cooling; and solar electric and photovoltaic systems.
Adams said that the congress offered an opportunity to experience the best and latest developments in the renewable energy sector, and urged South Africans involved in renewable energy, or those who intended making it their business, to use the conference to gather information, and establish networks for future collaboration, joint ventures and sustainable projects.
The congress would also make provision for delegates to go on technical tours to demonstrate how South African industries were using renewable energy sources, such as sugar cane and hydro plant, to produce power. Special sessions on energy awareness aimed at school children would also target younger solar enthusiasts.