The Vatican announced today that some Holy See buildings will start using solar energy, reflecting Pope Benedict XVI's concern about conserving the Earth's resources.
The first building upgraded to solar will be the Paul VI auditorium which, starting next year, will have its 6,000-square-yard flattened vaulted roof, currently covered with aging cement tiles in need of repair, replaced with photovoltaic tiles that will be capable of providing heat, cooling, and light to the auditorium. When the building is not in use (which is most of the time), that power will be redirected to other buildings in Vatican City.
The Vatican is considering the installation of photovoltaic cells on roofs of other Holy See buildings, although centuries-old landmarks like St. Peter's Basilica won't be touched.
I'm happy to see a world leader, like the Pope, taking the initiative to drive installation of solar power. I would like to see other world leaders, and other governmental bodies, drive toward alternative energy in a sustainable manner. There are a lot of roofs on government buildings and churches around the world, and it's time to put some of those to good use.