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Educating the next generation on renewable energy: Gottne hydropower plant

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Hydropower plant on a river in Sweden

In March 2023, we acquired a 0.78MW hydropower plant in Gottne, Sweden on the Moälven river. Earlier this year, we held an educational visit for local schoolchildren to teach them about renewable hydropower generation – this kickstarted the first of many sessions at our renewable energy sites. By investing in outreach to younger generations, we hope to play a vital role in raising awareness of sustainability from an early age.

The stewards of our future

Hydropower has a long history in Gottne, with the first plant constructed in 1921. On their visit, the children toured the facilities to understand how the dam, inlet canal, turbine and other components work together to harness the power of water. They learned how this local plant provides renewable electricity to their community using a natural resource.

Beyond the technical aspects, the visit gave wider context of hydropower's role in Sweden's clean energy transition and how technology can be leveraged positively for society. We think that by building this sustainability narrative we can help inspire future environmental stewards. The pupils also appreciate learning about the town's heritage and how past innovations still deliver value today.

Read more about hydropower energy

Positive engagement with the next generation

Educational outreach initiatives like this align well with our stakeholder-focused approach and our commitment the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13.3, which is designed to improve education, awareness-raising and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.  

By giving back knowledge to local communities, we can cement strong relationships. These programmes also showcase career pathways in the green economy. Making children aware of sustainability careers they can pursue one day or the technology applications that are happening in their surroundings can spark inspiration.

Find out more about how we have been educating UK schools about solar energy

Simple hands-on learning for the younger generation feeds into wider trends on renewable energy literacy. Equipping younger generations to participate in environmental decisions as informed citizens helps accelerate responsible growth. As Downing continues enabling renewable projects across Europe, initiatives like this in Gottne serve as a model for industry peers. Ultimately, investing in the younger generation is investing in everyone's collective future.

Find out more about our approach to stewardship and renewable energy


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