A potential £369 million refit of Buckingham Palace, one of the world’s most iconic buildings, could see the inclusion of numerous solar panels in an attempt to make what has been dubbed the UK’s least energy efficient home a little greener.
Originally a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, the site has been refurbished numerous times and now represents one of the most iconic and beautiful buildings on the planet. With 775 rooms, and home to the largest private garden in London, Buckingham Palace was nevertheless deemed the UK’s least energy efficient home by a group of energy surveyors back in 2009.
A new report published this month by the Crown lays out plans for a potential refurbishment, dubbed the “Buckingham Palace Reservicing Program.” The refurbishment is estimated to cost £369 million ($459 million), which has, somewhat understandably, been soundly reprimanded by many throughout the UK as wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money during a housing crisis and time of austerity. Subsequently, a petition has been created to make the Royal Family pay for the renovations themselves — as of writing, the petition currently has 141,856 signature and is aiming for 200,000.
The renovation’s interest to renewable energy fans of CleanTechnica is hidden deep within the report’s bowels, in a section called Energy Efficiency, which raises the possibility of finding “various ways to provide the Palace with electricity from alternative sources to supplement the present mains power.” Specifically, the report presents two potential options — solar panels or an anaerobic digestion unit.
The solar panels would not provide much of the Palace’s electricity needs — only 5% at the start — but could rise to as much as 10% “over time as power consumption reduces and as the carbon content in grid electricity is lowered.”
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