Monday, December 6, 2010

Vatican Sets Example With Solar Installations

Two years after the inauguration of the Vatican’s solar installations, the Holy See has released a book entitled “The Energy of the Sun in the Vatican.” Presented to the public earlier this week, the book outlines the birth, development and realization of two renewable energy projects within the Vatican City walls: the solar cooling plant above the cafeteria and the photovoltaic plant atop the Paul VI Audience Hall.

“Solar energy has unlimited possibilities,” said Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State. Speaking to journalists at the press conference for the book release, Cardinal Lajolo spoke about the importance of renewable energy in the face of climate change which, he said, is not only a problem of ecology but “impacts international justice and peace.”

The book release comes as representatives from over 190 countries are meeting in Mexico to discuss how best to slow down the current process of climate change.

“The Vatican is [setting] an example,” says Milan Nitzschke, vice president of SolarWorld – the German-based company that sponsored and built the Vatican’s solar installations.

“The electricity production coming out of the…solar panels on the rooftop of the Hall is much more than the electricity [needed] in the same building,” he told Vatican Radio. “And it feeds about 20% of the electricity of the whole Vatican.

“So it shows to everyone around the world that it is possible to produce more energy on the rooftop than is used in the house under this roof.”

Nitzschke also says they were careful to take Vatican City’s architecture into consideration when designing the plants.

“It’s the most beautiful installation we ever did,” he says. “It’s unbeatable in aesthetics.”


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