Three Amazing Solar Powered Structures From Around the World

North America
April 22nd 2019
Published: April 22nd 2019
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Climate change is a real concern for people across the globe. A shocking 7 million people die every year from air pollution and 90 percent of those deaths occur in low or middle-income countries. This is all the more reason why both civilians and companies are turning to solar power for their energy needs. Not only is it cost-effective over time, but it’s environmentally friendly. You may have seen solar panels on your neighbor’s house or the roof of your local elementary school. But did you know that some of the world’s most famous and beautiful structures are actually powered by solar power? Here are three of the most well-known (and surprising) structures powered using solar energy.

The White House

That’s right. One of the most iconic and highly recognizable structures in the United States is run by solar power. What’s interesting is that although Barack Obama had solar panels and water heater’s installed on the building’s roof in 2010, the White House was actually run by solar power many years before. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the roof in the hopes of creating an environmentally-friendly source of energy. At the time, the panels were used specifically for heating water for use inside the gigantic residence. Carter hard dreams of being completely solar by the year 2000. But, sadly, the Reagan administration had other ideas. The panels were removed in 1986. In 2002. President George W. Bush used solar water heaters to run the White House pool. Obama’s addition of solar photovoltaic panels meant a more powerful and resourceful form of solar energy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Eiffel Tower

Who knew solar power could be so beautiful? One of the world’s most highly recognizable structures is the Eiffel Tower, located in Paris France. Not only is the Eiffel Tower one of the most visited tourist spots (boasting 7 million visitors annually), but it’s one of the most energy efficient. Most of its energy-efficient renovation happened in the year 2013. The tower first opened in 1189, when it was considered one of the most modern marvels of architectural engineering. Some of its eco-friendly renovations include glass floors, wind turbines, solar panels, and a rainwater collection system. The solar panels are responsible for heating nearly half the hot water used in the tower. Because the Eiffel tower is synonymous with beauty and elegance, its energy efficient upgrades are carefully hidden and tucked away throughout. This prevents interfering with visitors’ breathtaking experience of such an iconic structure.

Sundial Building

No list of solar powered mega-structures would be complete without mention of the Sundial Building in Dezhou, China. The Sundial Building is the world’s largest solar-powered office structure, at 807,000 square feet. The structure is designed to look like an enormous sundial and is home to countless research facilities, meeting rooms, convention, and exhibition centers. It even offers guests a hotel directly inside. What makes this building so unique (aside from its size) is its innovative approach to solar power. Things like an insulated floor reduce energy consumption by nearly 30 percent under the national average. China is constantly breaking barriers when it comes to designing, creating, and implementing bigger, better ways of doing things. And the Sundial Building is just one example. But Abu Dhabi (one of seven United Arab Emirates) won’t let China hold the title much longer. Masdar City, the world’s first sustainable city, is in the works. This showcase of this $22 billion project is a 1.4 million-square-foot solar building designed to produce more power than it even needs! Masdar City completion is predicted for 2020, so keep your eyes peeled for this unbelievable step toward energy-efficient living.

If you’ve toyed with the idea of going green, but seem to think it takes too much work, let these three monumental structures be a shining example of how easy it can be. Solar power is just one way to address the growing threat of pollution and global warming. Why not visit one of these iconic structures and marvel in its wonder for yourself?

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