Stop at iconic landmarks to save energy. This is the solution envisioned in both Paris and Berlin, as electricity prices continue to rise across Europe. Symbolic but powerful measures that also aim to raise awareness of the climate cause.
It shines with a thousand lights every hour for five minutes at nightfall. But the Iron Lady could soon offer a more sober spectacle than the Parisians are used to. Electricity supplier EDF is indeed proposing to take away its lighting, in order to encourage citizens to save energy. A decision that, if implemented, is likely to displease some, but sends a clear message as the country prepares for the prospect of electricity shortages by next winter.
According to the Société d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, the annual electricity consumption of the Eiffel Tower is equal to 6.7 GWh, or that of a city of about 3,000 inhabitants. And according to the company that specializes in the analysis of energy consumption data for Lite individuals, the cost of lighting the famous monument would be equivalent to about 1.7 MWh per day.
The idea of stripping emblematic monuments of their decorations of light in order to strive for more energy sobriety is not new. In 2008, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) rolled out the “Earth Hour” initiative around the world. Every last weekend of March, from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm, various monuments such as the Atomium in Brussels, the Colosseum in Rome or the Sydney Opera House go out. An initiative aimed at raising public awareness about global warming and which some countries have decided to repeat.
This is particularly the case in Italy: in February 2022, a dozen municipalities in La Botte chose to evict their buildings (Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Colosseum in Rome) to protest the explosion in the electricity price. In a more sustainable perspective, Berlin Mayor-Governor Franziska Giffey supports the idea of not lighting famous sites like the Brandenburg Gate or the Reichstag Palace.
Approach aimed at tackling the climate crisis, but especially at achieving energy savings in view of the electricity crisis that has affected all of Europe since the autumn of 2021.
(ETX Daily Up)