School in Croatia crowdfunding its way to energy independence

One primary school in Croatia has an ambitious plan to become one of the first energy independent schools in the world. Its first step towards that goal is to gather the funds for the PV system on the roof through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

In his essay on the last year's socioeconomic and environmental changes in the world that bring hope and despair, famous author and speaker Charles Eisenstein accented the positive role of cooperative economy revival in southern Europe. Part of that revival is currently very active energy cooperative scene in Croatia with some interesting renewable energy projects in local communities.

One such project is the "Energy independent school" crowdfunding project implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Croatia) and Energy Cooperative Kaštela in the community of Kaštel Lukšić in Croatia. The plan is to install a solar power plant on the roof of the school funded by the local community as well as donations by individuals from all over the world.

Once in place, this small-scale solar installation will help the school to generate its own electricity and receive extra income which will help the school to finance other measures to reduce energy consumption. For example, one of the most effective measures that can be easily implemented is the replacement of existing lighting system. With additional savings on the energy bills and additional income from electricity production, school will be able to invest in new teaching aids and other equipment in order to enhance children's learning experience.

The target figure in this Indiegogo campaign is a minimum of 10.000 US dollars, but the installed capacity of the photovoltaic solar system will depend on the total amount of the funds donated. The school has also secured the donation specifically for this crowdfunding campaign where every dollar donated through Indiegogo will be matched by 1.5 dollars donated by UNDP. This means that for every dollar donated the school will receive 2.5 dollars in total. This campaign is currently one of the top campaigns on this platform and has been featured on the main page of Indiegogo.

Primary school Ostrog is well known in Croatia for its botanical garden maintained by the students' cooperative as well as for their strong efforts toward environmental protection. In that situation reaching the energy independence through crowdfunding and the efforts of the local community seems like a logical step forward. Ultimately, school is hoping to become a role-model of sustainability for other schools in Croatia.

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