Vatican has ambitious solar energy plans
The Vatican activated it's new solar panel roof yesterday, and are now planning to unveil more plans to 'go green'.
They want to provide 20% of their energy needs by 2020.
Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the governor of Vatican City, said the Vatican was thinking of a much more ambitious project at a huge tract of land it owns north of Rome which is used as a transmission center for Vatican Radio.
"We are thinking of a solar energy system on 300 hectares (740 acres) at the site," he said.
Pier Carlo Cuscianna, head of technical services for Vatican City, said such a project could produce six times the amount of energy needed to power the transmission antennas.
"The rest could be transferred to the (Italian) national grid for power for surrounding communities," Cuscianna said.
The site, called Santa Maria di Galeria, is owned by the Vatican and such a project would make it an exporter of alternative energy.
Cuscianna said it was "just an idea" for now but that he expected it to move on the project stage eventually.
Pope Benedict is arguably the most environmental pope to date, as he uses the Roman Catholic doctrine to teach Catholics about taking care of the planet. His predecessor, Pope John Paul II did describe the environment as a 'moral issue', but Pope Benedict has been the first one to truly address the issue.
Benedict may not be a typical environmentalist in the modern secular sense. The Vatican won't say whether he tries to save gas on the Vatican grounds or uses devices like energy-saving light bulbs. For him the green issue seems to be more about being a steward to God's creation. Speaking to the faithful, he stresses that taking care of the earth speaks directly to protecting what the Bible says was created in Genesis.