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Pope Benedict XVI
Solar conversion.

Well, at least they won’t have problems with planning permssion. Last week, Vatican engineers announced that some of the Holy See buildings in the city will now boast shiny, new solar panels. Yes, it seems Pope Benedict XVI is really backing up his commitment to the environment by installing solar panels on some of the buildings in the Vatican.

The most ambitious of the current plans is to reconstruct the roof of the Paul VI auditorium next year, with its cement panels replaced with photovoltaic cells.

The 6,300-seat auditorium is used for the pontiff’s general audiences on Wednesdays in winter and in bad weather during the rest of the year. Concerts in honor of pontiffs are also staged in the hall, on its sweeping stage.

The cells will produce enough electricity to illuminate, heat or cool the building. Vatican engineer Pier Carlo Cuscianna explained:

“Since the auditorium isn’t used every day, the (excess) energy will feed into the network providing (the Vatican) with power, so other Vatican offices can use the energy.”

Legacy of environmentalism

And it seems the project isn

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