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Solar-Powered Landmarks Around the World


Solar energy has seen major growth in the last decade, and homeowners aren’t the only ones who use the sun to power their lights. More and more people are powering their homes, businesses, cities, and some of the most famous landmarks are getting a solar makeover. Here are 7 of the most famous landmarks in countries all over the world that are using solar energy.

Famous buildings powered by solar energy

  1. U.S. White House

  2. U.S. Yellowstone National Park

  3. U.S. Alcatraz Island

  4. France: Eiffel Tower

  5. Taiwan: National Stadium

  6. United Arab Emirates: Burj Khalifa

  7. Italy: the Vatican

Yellowstone National Park: United States


Yellowstone National Park is known for national wonders like its wild animals, hot springs, and Old Faithful. The world’s first national park has its very own solar system among many other forms of renewable energy, like hydro energy and wind energy, to help it stay powered. Yellowstone National Park uses around 56% renewable energy to power their lighting, appliances, computers, tools and some heating and cooling.


Alcatraz Prison: United States

“The Rock”, or Alcatraz Prison, is the famous landmark on Alcatraz Island off San Francisco, California, and has its very own solar panel system. It is also one of the nation’s largest microgrids. In 2012, the island got its own solar system on the roof of the main prison building. The solar system has 959 solar panels. Befor that, the island was powered from only the diesel generators, and was extremely unstable. After the solar system was installed, the island’s fuel consumption was reduced by 45%.


The White House: United States


The White House in Washington DC is no stranger to the benefits of solar energy, and they even offer the Federal Solar Tax Credit for homeowners. The first time the White House made use of solar energy was in 1979 when President Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed, but in 1986 President Ronald Reagan had the solar panels removed and half of them were moved to the roof of Maine College.

The White House remained solar energy free until 2014 when President Barack Obama had a new system of 167 panels installed. This PV system is also made up of entirely American-made parts!


Eiffel Tower: France


The Eiffel Tower first made history when it opened to the public in 1189 as an architectural wonder, and now is making history as a world landmark powered by renewable energy. The Eiffel Tower is outfitted with solar panels, LED lights, high-performance heat pumps, and rainwater collection systems, all of which help keep the landmark sustainable and powered by renewable energy. In 2021, the stunning display of illuminations on the Eiffel Tower were powered with renewable energy for the first time.


National Stadium: Taiwan


The National Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan was designed by the world-famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito, and it is probably the most stunning display of solar panels on a building. The National Stadium opened to host the 2009 World Games, and it is 100% solar powered! This solar power is used to light up 3,300 lights and two jumbo screens, and it even lights up the surrounding neighborhood. The stadium’s roof was designed to look like a spiraling serpent, and is covered artistically by 8,844 solar panels.


Burj Khalifa: United Arab Emirates

The Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, is the tallest skyscraper in the world, rising 2,717 feet above the earth (around a half mile). This building has set several world records for height and is a multi-use building that hosts a main observation deck tourist attraction, nightclubs, restaurants, residential apartments, and a hotel. The Burj Khalifa has a total of 378 solar panels used to save the building up to 3,200 kilowatts of energy each day. In approximately 7 hours of sunshine, the solar panels can heat 140,000 liters of water used by tenants each day. The condensation from the building’s air-conditioning equipment is reclaimed to cool the building’s potable water, as well as used for the tower’s landscaping.


The Vatican City: Italy

Vatican City uses solar energy to power the world’s smallest country. This independent city-state located inside Rome is governed by the Holy See. It also mints its own euros, has its own flag and anthem, and now has its own solar panel system.

In 2008, a total of 2,400 solar panels were installed in the Paul VI Audience Hall, one of the Vatican’s main buildings. The panels provide energy enough to illuminate, heat and cool the building each year! The solar panels were gifted to German-born Pope Benedict XVI by a German solar company, worth around $1.5 million. This solar system, among other green efforts, are part of the Vatican’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.


From Solar Powered Landmarks to Solar Powered Homes

Take an example from these famous landmarks and experience the power of the sun for your own home! Talk with one of our Solar Energy Specialists about your options and see a customized solar system for your home energy goals. When you’re ready to make the decision about cleaner energy for your home, we’re waiting to answer all your questions. Set up a free estimate with an El Paso energy adviser today: https://www.sunshinecitysolar.com/contact-us

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