by N. Peter Kramer
Solar panels must all be placed underground in the future; decided a majority of the European Parliament in response to the climate plans of the European Commission.
The Commission presented new legislative proposals to combat climate change: the European Green Deal. For instance, houses must become more energy efficient and energy friendly by installing solar panels.
Although solar panels can significantly reduce energy consumption, not everyone likes the panels. ‘Solar panels are often on sloping roofs. That is good for the environment and to catch the warmth of the sun, but, let us be honest, they are ugly to look at’, says MEP Carmelo Ricciardi, a former Professor of Sustainable Energy of the University of Pisa, Italy.
“An average backyard has room to put ten to fifteen solar panels under a thick layer of soil. Plant grass and flowers on top, and you don’t see them anymore’ Carmelo Ricciardi concludes. For more comprehensive use of solar panels, his advice is to install them in the cellars of big buildings and factories, or for instance, in disused coal mines.
The decision of the European Parliament means an enormous challenge for Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans, the tireless proponent of the Green Deal. But what the Commission will decide is, of course, up to its President, Ursula von der Leyen.