Vatican Reveals Solar Plant Plans

Vatican City has plans to build the largest solar plant in Europe, which will supply enough power for 40,000 households in a state of 900 inhabitants.
April 23, 2009, 2pm PDT | Judy Chang
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"Advised by German solar-panel maker Solarworld AG, the Holy See is running counter to many governments that say harnessing sunlight on a grand scale is too costly to help curb global warming, especially in the deepest recession since World War II.

'Now is the time to strike,' Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the Vatican City's governor, said in an interview from his study overlooking the Michelangelo-designed Basilica of St. Peter's. 'One should take advantage of the crisis to try and develop these renewable-energy sources to the maximum, which in the long run will reap incomparable rewards.'

European nations, daunted by spending needed to stimulate their economies, find it hard to invest enough in clean power generation to help meet a European Union target to get an average 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Italy, whose Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened to play 'bad guy' in December by trying to block EU legislation to fight climate change, was given a binding target for renewable energy consumption of 17 percent. That compares with 5 percent achieved in 2005."

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Published on Friday, April 17, 2009 in Bloomberg
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