vatican solar panels

Vatican to build solar station instead of “electro-smog field”


Pope Francis has issued a decree to create a field of solar panels to provide the Vatican with electricity. The solar farm is to be built in northern Rome at a location that has long been a source of controversy due to the radiation from the Vatican Radio towers there.

This is reported by Renewable Energy World.

Referring to the Vatican’s commitment to the UN climate agreements to reduce carbon emissions, Francis instructed a commission of Vatican officials to build a solar farm in Santa Maria di Galeria. In his decree, he noted that the solar energy produced would be enough to power not only the radio station but also the Vatican City state itself.

The territory of Santa Maria di Galeria covers 430 hectares and has an extraterritorial status. It appeared in 1957 as the base of Vatican Radio. At the time, the Pontifical Broadcasting Company broadcast Catholic and Vatican news in dozens of languages around the world using two dozen short- and medium-wave radio antennas.

As the once-rural area about 35 kilometers north of the Vatican developed, residents began to complain of health problems, including cases of childhood leukemia, which were blamed on electromagnetic waves generated by the towers. The Vatican long insisted that there was no causal link.

In the 1990s, residents sued Vatican Radio, claiming that the radiation exceeded the limit set by Italian law. The court found the transmitter to be harmless to health.

In 2012, the Vatican announced that it was halving the hours of broadcasting from this location, not because of health concerns, but because of technological advances in Internet broadcasting.

In recent years, environmentally conscious popes have made environmental protection a priority. Under Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican installed a solar panel roof on its main residence, which happened back in 2008. Under Pope Francis, who wrote a whole encyclical on the need to take care of God’s creation, the Vatican began replacing its fleet with electric vehicles as part of a comprehensive plan called “Ecological Transformation 2030,” which aims to implement carbon-neutral projects and technologies on the territory of its 44-hectare city-state.

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