A bright future for RCHK
Written by Eunie Jeong
In February, RCHK becomes one of the few electricity producers in Hong Kong. On the roof of the Secondary administration building, 32 hidden solar panels will be switched on, and the sustainably generated solar-powered electricity will contribute to the power grid in HK. This moment will mark the end to a year-and-a-half-long initiative led by an RCHK student, Jane Chan.
As a member of the environmental committee, Jane suggested that the school take on solar panels. The solar panels were cheap, as there had been a massive boom on solar panels in China, and the extra leftovers were cheap, so it was the perfect time. Mr Samuel Hureau, the business manager, contacted China Light and Power (CLP) and arranged that they get 85% of the electricity produced, and in turn, RCHK receives funds.
Like any project, it faced challenges. Jane had to do many different tasks such as researching, figuring out the timeline, and making plans and dealing with changes such as the cancellation of government support. Jane’s reflection on the project tells us a strategy when we face a challenge: “The most important part of that process is to make sure that you are overprepared.” Jane felt that as she was a student, people would not have taken her as seriously as an adult if it were not for that.
When installing the solar panels, CLP came to check where the solar energy could be the most accessible. They found that the secondary roof, where students did not have access, was the ideal place. As well as solar panels there needs to be a meter. When the meter is installed, which will be done just this month, the solar panels will generate ten kilowatts of electricity per hour. This is enough to run a fan for a week all day long.
The success of this student-led initiative emphasises that even young people can protect the environment.
This project could have an impact on the whole city. As Mr Hureau says, when people see how it is not hard to install solar panels, they might start doing so too. If every building took on solar panels, HK would be able to generate an enormous amount of electricity, and not need to use fossil fuels.