Due to the emerging climate crises, ambitious energy and climate policies have been setup on all levels to shift energy production from fossils to renewable. Yet, in stark contradiction to this absolute urgency, changes needed are not realized to envisaged and sufficient extent.
As a major driver to make the energy transition happening, engaged citizens are needed to form a bottom-up critical mass supporting the top-down endeavors. This engagement can be triggered and supported by equipping learners with necessary key competences and skills by dedicated programs included in public education.
Therefore, the overall objective is to develop a course on solar thermal energy for the target group of teachers, including high quality blended/hybrid learning materials, combining theoretical background with all practical technical, organizational, legal, and financial aspects of building a solar thermal energy plant.
It consists of modules together forming a complete program or to be used separately in various settings thus fulfilling the need for flexibility for teachers and reaching a maximum number of learners.
Basic knowledge on solar energy technologies is difficult to acquire – a transnational problem across the EU. If at all, education so far concentrates on energy saving measures – education on renewable energy technologies is only accessible by experts/technicians.
However, our society’s future development paths will need basic literacy in renewable; combined with practical knowledge on building plants it could trigger enormous energy production in a more sustainable, more local, secure, and less expensive way across the EU speeding up the needed energy transition.
The MINT skills and knowledge acquired through the course (ICT, math, physics, energy technologies, further natural sciences) are complemented with knowledge about governance, legal and financial aspects and topped with soft skills (planning a project, working in a team, approaching stakeholders, overcoming obstacles, convincing neighbours, … ).
The course will generally enrich the learners’ skills portfolio with most important skills mix needed to realize innovative projects (also in other fields) and can thus significantly influence their future professional career.