Pope Francis Announces 100% Renewables Plan for Vatican City

Vatican City is on track to become the 8th country in the world to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy, following Pope Francis’ announcement relating to building a large solar plant.  In a letter to the church, the Pope said the project will be developed on Vatican-owned property outside of Rome that spans 424 hectares, adding further capacity to existing solar panel installations in the city state. The site will also be used for agriculture – making it an “agrivoltaic” development.

Vatican Renewable Energy

Once completed, it should provide not only the power supply of the radio station there, but also the complete energy sustenance of Vatican City State. “We need to make a transition towards a sustainable development model that reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, setting the objective of climate neutrality. Pope Francis wrote in the letter, titled Fratello Sole, or Brother Sun. “Humanity has the technological means necessary to face this environmental transformation and its pernicious ethical, social, economic and political consequences, and solar energy plays a fundamental role.

This project will make the smallest country by land mass entirely energy independent, with all of its electricity needs met by solar power. Once completed, Vatican City will join Nepal, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Albania, Bhutan, Iceland and Congo as countries that generate more than 99.7% of their electricity from renewables. A further 40 countries generate at least 50% of their electricity from clean energy sources such as geothermal, hydro, solar and wind. These figures were revealed in data compiled by Stanford University Professor Mark Z. Jacobson earlier this year.

“We don’t need miracle technologies.” Professor Jacobson told The Independent in April. “We need to stop emissions by electrifying everything and providing the electricity with Wind, Water and Solar (WWS), which includes onshore wind, solar photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, geothermal electricity, small hydroelectricity, and large hydroelectricity.”

In 2015, Pope Francis said that human-induced climate change was one of his main concerns about the future of the planet – revealing that the environment has been a central focus for him. Vatican City joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2022, which aims to address “dangerous human interference with the climate system.”

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