Rome Unveils Largest Urban Solar Farm Plan
As part of its bid for the 2030 world expo, Rome has unveiled the largest-ever urban solar farm.
World expositions have a long history of showcasing the culture, innovations, and marvels the hosting country offers. With the advent of industrialization in the 19th century, these fairs have shown technological advancements for not only those at the fair to gaze at in wonder but also for the whole world to see.
These shows also provide ample investment opportunities for the host country to take advantage of and have done so for many years. In Italy, the Tor Vergata neighbourhood is a prime example. It is home to the eponymous university; however, as the years have passed by, the area has seen an increase in impoverishment. This is part of the reason why the area was selected to be the host for the 2030 World Expo.
As we progress into our 21st century, what has become of critical importance for us all is climate change and the solutions to it. In 2030, this will take shape in the form of the largest urban solar farm in the world, powering the expo and the neighbourhood after the show is over.
Sustainable energy production has been difficult to implement in certain countries for a number of reasons, but the major concern has been geography. For many, the typical idea of a solar farm involves a large, flat area that is occupied by hundreds of solar panels making up a solar array. This is why urban environments have been difficult to implement renewable energy solutions, as either solar or wind power requires large areas in order to be used effectively and efficiently.
One of the new developments showcased at the world fair in 2030 is solar trees, which will be used to power the other exhibitions and the whole neighbourhood after the world fair ends. These “trees” unfurl during peak energy generation hours and retract after the sun goes down. They are tall enough not to disturb foot traffic underneath, and the whole array has an estimated capacity of 36 megawatts.
However, this isn’t the only marvel on display at the world fair; the largest building at the event is called eco-system 0.0, which will provide cooling for the people inside via evaporation. The theme is “people and territories, together: urban regeneration, inclusion, and innovation.” As such, all of the event’s pavilions are designed to be reusable so that they can be applied in other areas after the expo is over.
The world expo has tremendous potential to inspire generations of people to create, design, and innovate new things that can change our world. For many years, the focus has been on technological marvels requiring fossil fuels with little regard for the environment that they come from. However, in 2030 the hope will be that with a little inspiration, people will be motivated to develop tools and technologies that can be applied in many areas.
Urban solar farming is something that many don’t see as feasible or realistic, but as with many things displayed at the expo, sometimes you have to see it to believe it. Solar trees and self-cooling buildings might seem sci-fi now, but as we move into the future many things that would have been relegated to the realm of imagination are becoming quite real. I believe that Italy has the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase what is possible.