Students at Australian high school help generate its own renewable energy

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HUONVILLE, TASMANIA, Australia – These students probably know more about how much energy humans use each day than most teenagers.

They go to Huonville High School, which has an internationally recognized renewable energy hub.

"This little school in the Huon Valley, it’s actually doing amazing things," says teacher Nel Smit.

"I realized how important saving energy is and how important the world is," says student Saila Perera.

Renewable energy sources are put into practice with these bikes, which generate power when operated.

And there’s nothing like the promise of some freshly cooked doughnuts to motivate the cycling.

The idea not only powers up deep fryers, it’s transforming the community.

"It’s raised awareness of renewable energy and energy efficiency and opportunities in the community for engaging them around that sort of technology," says Smit.

Innovator Michael Fewings is involved in the project.

He powers everything in his house with solar and a home-built hydroelectric system.

Now he’s passing on his experience to these youngsters.

"I bring my technological know-how of electricity and also my love of the kid’s learning," says Fewings.

"I don’t think we even touch the surface of kid’s understanding about what the future is in regards to climate change and renewables and how that’s all going to drive a much better future for us all," says Fewings.

Back at Huonville High, renewables have saved more than 40,000 (Australian) dollars in energy costs since 2017.

And in a world where adults make the decisions, the energy hub is giving students a renewed sense of purpose and control over their future.

"Being part of Zayed (Energy Hub) has definitely made me feel like I’m doing something, I’m making a change that has reassured me to not be so worried, not be so frustrated with the world," says student Aisha Fisher.

The sweet success of renewable energy.