Croatian primary school seeks energy independence through crowdfunding

02 Dec 2013

Energyindependentschool from Energy cooperatives Croatia on Vimeo.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Kaštela Energy Cooperative launched a crowdfunding campaign on 3 December 2013 to collect donations to build a solar power plant for the Ostrog Primary School in the sunny Dalmatian coastal town of Kaštel Lukšić. The school is already famous for a botanical garden that is cared for by a student environmental cooperative. Its students and teachers are now seeking to become Croatia’s first energy-independent school. Money collected in the crowdfunding campaign will be used to install solar panels on the school roof. The school hopes Internet donors will contribute the HRK 100,000 (USD 17,000) needed to cover the costs of the new solar power plant.

The campaign represents UNDP Croatia’s contribution to #GivingTuesday, the day that celebrates and encourages charitable giving, volunteerism, and philanthropy all over the world. The campaign is hosted on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform. The launch of the campaign was publicly announced by UNDP representatives and members of the Kaštela Energy Cooperative at the historic Vitturi Castle in Kaštel Lukšić.

The Ostrog Primary School is already a user of solar energy as part of the Solar Sunflower program organized by Hrvatski Telekom and UNDP. Solar sunflowers are small solar trackers that follow the sun’s movement during the day. Under the program, ten solar sunflowers were installed in primary and secondary schools across Croatia, in order both to educate schoolchildren about renewable energy and to save modest amounts of money.

The school chose solar power as its renewable option owing both to its sunny location and recent changes in the electricity tariff system which, as of 2014, offer special quotas of 2 MW for the construction of solar power plants on buildings owned by cities and counties.

If sufficient funding is collected, it will be used to fund other energy-efficiency measures, including the installation of better lighting and insulation in the roof and the outer building shell. The purchase of better equipment and teaching tools is also planned, to help students learn more about green technologies, environmental protection, and energy efficiency.

In addition to contributing online through Indiegogo, donors can also contribute directly to the school’s bank account:

HR8123400091110051348 (Privredna bank Zagreb)
Primary School Ostrog
Put sv. Lovre 2
HR-21215 Kaštel Lukšić, Croatia
Payment description: Energy independent Primary School Ostrog (state the payment date)

All information regarding the Ostrog Primary School in Kaštel Lukšić and the energy independence project can be found on : www.indiegogo.com/projects/energy-independent-school and www.energetskezadruge.hr.

The campaign’s progress can also be monitored via Facebook pages: Energy Cooperatives and the Kaštela Energy Cooperative.

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Energy cooperatives are associations of local actors (individuals, companies, public institutions, local governments, etc.) which act together to develop renewable energy projects. Joint venture reduces the risk of investment and ensures that profits are shared from the project. Energy cooperatives promote a democratic way of decision-making on energy issues. The objective of these cooperatives is to promote the use of renewable energy sources by local communities. Operating profit is shared among the members of the cooperative and part of the returns is invested in community development.
 
Crowdfunding represents an alternative way of raising funds via the Internet, in the form of a large number of small donations from around the world. There are several models of crowdfunding; IndieGoGo is a platform based on awards, which vary depending on the size of the funds paid. Crowdfunding has so far financed some 100,000 projects globally.
Ostrog School on Indiegogo

 

 

Ostrog Primary School photos
  • Picking olives
  • The school's flat roof...
  • The botanical garden of Ostrog Primary School in Kaštel Lukšić
  • Jadranka Mijić, an agronomist
  • The botanical garden at Ostrog Primary School
  • The botanical garden is open to visitors

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