Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Next Up, the Prius Popemobile --
Via BBC News, the Vatican will install solar panels on the roof of one building.

The deteriorating cement roof tiles of the Paul VI auditorium will be replaced next year with photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity.


Pope Benedict has criticised "the unbalanced use of energy" in the world.

Last year he said environmental damage was making "the lives of poor people on earth especially unbearable".

The Paul VI auditorium was designed by architect Pier Luigi Nervi and built in 1969.

The cement panels on its roof have deteriorated and were due to be replaced anyway, said Vatican engineer Pier Carlo Cuscianna.

When the 6,000-seat hall is not in use, the surplus energy will be fed into the Vatican power network.

The Vatican is considering placing solar panels on other buildings although St Peter's Basilica and other historical landmarks will not be touched.

This is probably how I would go about it if I wanted to make things more environmentally-friendly. It seems a shame to replace a perfectly good roof with solar panels, so the right thing to do is to experiment by doing one building first and seeing how it works out before committing yourself to redoing everything.

Of course, I've never been an early adopter of technology. I was years behind the curve in adopting CDs and DVDs. I wouldn't consider buying a hybrid car until the technology had proven itself with data on cars that have been on the road for five years. But that's just me.
(8:01 PM)


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