As a “concrete and tangible initiative” to promote the protection of the environment, the Vatican has replaced concrete panels on the roof of the Paul VI Hall with photo electric ones, which it will unveil next Wednesday.
The new installation, which is part of the "green culture characterized by ethical values" promoted by Benedict XVI, will protect the building from the elements and convert solar energy into electricity.
The 2,400 components of the installation not only replaced the concrete roof panels, but also matched the dimensions of the original tiles planned by the building's architect, Pier Luigi Nervi. The panels have a dual function: "passively" protecting the building from the elements and "actively" converting solar energy into electricity.
The inauguration ceremony will take place at the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and will be attended by Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Pier Carlo Cuscianna, director of technical services of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Livio De Santoli of Rome's "La Sapienza" University; Frank Asbeck, president of Solar World AG, and Carlo Rubbia, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics.
In an effort to become the first carbon-neutral state, the Vatican is also growing a 37-acre forest dubbed the “Vatican Climate Forest” in Hungary to offset its annual carbon dioxide emissions.