Solar Panels at Metea are Shining a Light on the Necessity for Cleaner Energy


Madelyn Lumsden

With growing concerns regarding global warming, the Earth is not the only thing heating up. The conversation about renewable energy has, for lack of a better word, caught wind over the past century. Engineers and new organizations have been working hard to make such options affordable and reliable. Thanks to their efforts, it has become significantly easier to implement such technologies. This is something that the students at Metea used to their advantage a few years back when they drafted a grant to build solar panels at their very own high school. 

It started as an assignment for their AP Environmental Science class, but it quickly turned into a passion project as they did the research and drafted a grant themselves. The project started in 2017, but it was not until this summer that the panels were finally set up and put into use. The solar panels are located in the back of the building and are helping power the school. Thankfully, groups, such as the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, are making strides to allow for more available renewable energy within various organizations and schools. Previously, many had considered solar panels to be a waste of money or marketing scheme for the rich and trendy. What was once optional is now essential to prevent the inevitable climate change and ‘point of no return’.

“Our future of dealing with climate change is not going to be solved without integrating new technologies,” environmental science teacher and Eco Club sponsor Kiel Smith said. 

Thanks to the increased awareness regarding climate change and passionate efforts by Metea students, a sustainable world may not be as unbelievable as it appears to be. With growing advances in technology, renewable energy is becoming more affordable and accessible.

The planet is not yet at its ‘point of no return’. Although it is seemingly coming, and coming fast, there is still time to prevent what could be catastrophic. With increased knowledge and a little bit of effort, a cleaner world is possible. Students should continue to recycle and clean up after themselves.

 “That’s kind of an easy fix” said Smith. 

For anyone interested in environmental science and the maintenance of the earth, there is an Eco Club meeting on September 5th in D128.