Pope Benedict XVI’s Bavarian house in Pentling next to Regensburg, will be getting almost 600 square feet of
photovoltaic solar panels.
They were intended to be installed on the roof July 27-31, by local students of a trade school. The panels were donated to the Pope by local workmen.
Once installed, they could generate nearly 6 MW of electricity. No church funds were used, and the Pope made it a condition of the project that it could proceed only without church support. The solar panels could generate as much as $3,500 dollars by selling electricity to the German grid. Any income generated will be donated to job and skill training for disadvantaged youth.
In a recent encyclical, the Pope stated, “The technologically advanced societies can and must lower their domestic energy consumption, either through an evolution in manufacturing methods or through greater ecological sensitivity among their citizens. It should be added that at present it is possible to achieve improved energy efficiency while at the same time encouraging research into alternative forms of energy. ”
This past Spring, it was announced that the Vatican will be contructing a very large solar plant at a cost of over $600 million.
The Pope’s house is not owned officially by the Church. He bought it in 1970 when he was a professor at the University of Regensburg. The Pope also has his own bee hive at his private residence in Germany. Regensburg was founded in AD 90 as a small fort by the Romans.