The Vatican is going solar in a big way. The smallest country in the world recently announced that it intends to spend 660 million dollars to create what will effectively be Europe’s largest solar power plant. This massive 100 megawatt photovoltaic installation will provide enough energy to make the Vatican the first solar powered nation state in the world!
The Vatican is not exactly a large state, so its proposed solar plant will generate enough energy to power all of its 40,000 households. The installation will be located on a 740 acre site near Santa Maria di Galeria - the same place where the Vatican Radio’s transmission tower is located. The energy that it produces will be way above the needs of the entire Vatican, providing enough power to meet the needs of Vatican radio nine times over.
These aren’t the only moves that the Vatican is taking to reduce its greenhouse emissions. It is contemplating using an electric popemobile, the Vatican cafeteria will soon be decked with a solar heating system to provide heating and cooling, and even the Pope’s summer residence is being fitted out to get power from the methane generated by the horse stables. When looking for inspiration, the Pope clearly defers towards the heavens, but when looking for electricity, the sun is his choice.