Giving a new meaning to getting "power from above," the Vatican began converting to Solar Power. Starting with 2,400 panels they covered the Nervi Hall auditorium's roof, spanning over 16,000 sq. ft. The Installation that will generate 300 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year, enough to completely power the building where the Pope holds general audiences.
The switch to solar is going to save Vatican City approximately 80 tonnes of oil and save the atmosphere 225 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Next the Vatican wants to set up a solar energy system on some land north of Rome called Santa Maria di Galeria. The land houses the Vatican Radio transmission center, but the new project will produce more than 6 times the amount of energy needed by the radio station. The excess energy will be transferred back to the national power grid.
Pope Benedict XVI is said to be the most eco-friendly pope to date, and as small as it may be, the Vatican City is the only carbon neutral sovereign nation on the planet.