National Energy Globe Award Holy See (Vatican City State) (overall winner)

Submitted by: Vatican City State
Implemented country: Holy See (Vatican City State)
Title: The Vatican is the World’s Greenest State

The Vatican feels very strongly about environmental protection and the implementation of clean energies because this is an essential part of the Christian view of life, especially the issue of energy, which has long been a main cause of many bloody wars. Never before has the Vatican spoken so unambiguously and offered a clearer message in matters of ecology. Two projects are a special sign of Vatican City State’s “green“ policies since 2008: A solar power plant on the roof of the papal audience hall and a solar-assisted cooling system on top of the employee canteen, which makes the Vatican the world’s greenest State.
The solar system for the roof of the papal audience hall, Aula Paolo VI, was donated by SolarWorld. The inverters were provided by the German SMA company. The project was a big architectural challenge because the modules had to be fitted into the domed and wavy structure of the roof. This was achieved through special solar modules in different sizes, but also through aluminum panels. At the same time, a solar-powered cooling system with state-of-the art absorption refrigeration system was provided for the canteen.
Peak performance of the 2,400 PV modules is at 221.59 kW. Annually, 300 mwh are generated, which amounts to savings of nearly 225 tons of CO2 and 80 tons of fossil energy, resulting in 35,000 euro savings in energy costs. The cooling power is generated by 350 square meters of solar collectors which are spread among three roofs, providing the absorption cooler with 151 kW of power. Eighty tons of CO2 are saved annually, as are 30 tons in fossil energy. In sum that’s 30,000 euros less in energy costs for cooling. The data is collected and stored for system optimizing. provides a daily solar-day summary of Vatican City State. Another solar panel system is in planning for the municipal area of Santa Maria di Galeria, the transmitter site for Vatican Radio. This system will be producing six-times more power than Vatican Radio needs and the surplus will be fed into the public grid for surrounding communities. By 2020, the Vatican is hoping to generate 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources.

“The importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly.“ (Pope Benedict at the German Bundestag, Sep. 2011)

Pope Benedict XVI

Category: Fire