London's Landmark Big Ben Could Receive Solar Makeover
The massive tower, clock and bell in London known as Big Ben is slated for a makeover, and it could include solar panels.
It's just an idea for now, but one that could place solar energy front and center of a landmark. The idea came about last month when Parliamentary passholders were asked to submit ideas for how the estate could improve its energy efficiency by 34 percent by the end of the decade. At least one person suggested the panels, according to BusinessGreen, and now the House of Commons is considering the installation as an option.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
"These ideas will now be discussed, reviewed and prioritized by the Environment Team with a program of initiatives to be developed in future months," a spokesman for the House of Commons said.
A clock face with solar panels would become part of a group of green initiatives scheduled to take place at the House. They include installing voltage optimization technology, low-energy LED lights and exploring additional energy efficiency improvements.
The House will also install solar panels on some flat roofs in 2015 as part of a renovation to repair the cast-iron roof of the Palace of Westminster.
"The project is expected to ensure that the roof remains serviceable for another 150 years, and will give us the opportunity to improve our environmental performance ratings and fire safety systems," the spokesman said.
According to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, there were nearly half a million solar panels on UK buildings as of Jan. 5. At the end of 2013, the United Kingdom's energy minister called for the government to install 4 million panels to become a leader in solar deployment.
In January, London unveiled the world's largest solar bridge, covered by 4,400 photovoltaic panels to produce half of the energy for Blackfriars Station. Check out some pictures of the bridge:
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
By Robin Scher
Beyond the questions surrounding the availability, effectiveness and safety of a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to question where our food is coming from and whether we will have enough.
- Can Urban Farms Prevent Hunger in 54 Million People in the U.S. ... ›
- New Report Finds Malnutrition World's Top Killer Amid Pandemic ... ›
- Oxfam Warns 12,000 Could Die Per Day From Hunger Due to ... ›
- Three Ways to Support a Healthy Food System During the COVID ... ›
- Trump USDA Resumes Effort to Cut Food Stamp Benefits - EcoWatch ›
- Pandemic Threatens Food Security for Many College Students ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Tearing through the crowded streets of Philadelphia, an electric car and a gas-powered car sought to win a heated race. One that mimicked how cars are actually used. The cars had to stop at stoplights, wait for pedestrians to cross the street, and swerve in and out of the hundreds of horse-drawn buggies. That's right, horse-drawn buggies. Because this race took place in 1908. It wanted to settle once and for all which car was the superior urban vehicle. Although the gas-powered car was more powerful, the electric car was more versatile. As the cars passed over the finish line, the defeat was stunning. The 1908 Studebaker electric car won by 10 minutes. If in 1908, the electric car was clearly the better form of transportation, why don't we drive them now? Today, I'm going to answer that question by diving into the history of electric cars and what I discovered may surprise you.
As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.
- 15 Top Conservation Issues of 2021 Include Big Threats, Potential ... ›
- How Blockchain Could Boost Clean Energy - EcoWatch ›
By David Drake and Jeffrey York
The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.
The Big Idea
People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.
- Major Milestone: More than 100,000 MW Worth of Coal-Fired Power ... ›
- Coal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life, But Tech and ... ›
- Renewables Beat Coal in the U.S. for the First Time This April ... ›