Renewable Energy for Children – Teaching Renewable Energy to Children

Many parents want to teach their children about renewable energy and energy efficiency from an early age because once they get used to it, it will be a habit they will continue to follow for the rest of their lives. So where should you start when teaching children about renewable energy? It might be a good idea to start by defining exactly what renewable energy is. You could suggest that they make a list of non-renewable and renewable energy sources and build from there. Some examples could be:

Non-renewable: Oil/Gas, Natural Gas, Coal, Nuclear

Renewable: Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Hydro/Water

Explain to them how renewable energy comes from natural forces. It differs from fossil fuels in that it does not produce greenhouse gases or other pollutants. You can explain further how mass generation of electricity using renewable energy sources has become more popular lately. Here are some of the reasons why it has become more popular: Pollution and climate change caused by fossil fuels are all running out and becoming more expensive.

It’s a great idea to teach kids about energy efficiency. TV, computer, lights, etc. they use during a day. Have them make a list of all electrical appliances and the wattage of each appliance for how long and if possible. If they don’t get the wattage, you can look at the average wattage for each device for illustration. Do a rough calculation to show how much power they use in a day. Now it’s the case that they turn devices off when not in use, turn off lights when they’re not in the room, dim the heat/AC by a few degrees, etc. have them do an ‘energy saving’ day. Now recalculate the daily wattage and show them how much energy they’ve saved with a few simple changes.

Another great idea is to show them how installing a solar panel or windmill can generate electricity for their own home. It’s not as expensive as you might think. You don’t need an expensive commercial solar panel, you can build your own solar panel for $100-200 and your kids can even help if they’re old enough. The less energy they underestimate, the better.

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