The rooftops of Monaco are generating electricity

Publication date: 20/11/2019
For several years, solar panels have been installed on the roofs of various public buildings in the Principality. We take a closer look at Monaco's solar roofs. 

Since his accession in 2005, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco has been committed to an ambitious policy in favour of national and international sustainable development. Under his leadership, the Principality of Monaco has committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to 50% of their 1990 levels by 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Mission for Energy Transition

To achieve these targets, the Mission for Energy Transition was created in 2016. Part of the Prince's Government, its role is to consider the different alternatives that will enable Monaco to be be more environmentally responsible. In 2017, the Principality published the Energy Transition White Paper of Monaco, outlining the challenges and possible actions identified in order to establish a roadmap to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

To that end, the Mission for Energy Transition is focusing its efforts on solar energy, and has published a Solar Map of the Principality of Monaco online for the public to use. The site includes an interactive map that can be used to easily identify every roof in Monaco, its potential sun exposure, the surface area usable for solar panels and the potential annual energy generated. Thanks to the map, owners of buildings can know easily find out the exact solar capacity of their properties.

The Principality's solar roofs

Numerous buildings across the Principality are fitted with rooftop solar panels, such as schools, crèches, the Fontvieille fire station, and also office and residential buildings.

A number of tourist buildings also have solar panels. They include:   

  • The Grimaldi Forum (September 2019): with 2,500 m2 of solar panels, 1,500 modules and annual generation of nearly 650 MWh, the Grimaldi Forum is now the largest solar plant in the Principality. Standing 15 metres tall, the building is ideally positioned with excellent sun exposure. The congress centre's annual electricity output will power not just the building itself, but numerous homes in the neighbourhood.
  • The Monte-Carlo Bay: in April 2019, the Monte-Carlo Bay covered part of its roof with solar panels. The 789 solar cells will generate 160,000 kWh per year, equivalent to the electricity use of 30 homes. It was the first project of its kind, taking a little over four months, and work was carried out without disrupting the establishment's operation.

Monaco pursuing its environmental policy
The installation of solar panels on the roofs of the Principality's public buildings has been made possible partly thanks to the National Green Fund. Created in 2016, the National Green Fund, partly funded by the State's budget surplus, finances a range of projects such as the installation of solar panels on public buildings. The fund has already paved the way for numerous projects.

In addition to installing solar panels on the rooftops of Monaco, the Principality has also been generating energy using heat pumps since 1960, having been one of the first countries to develop this form of energy on its coastline. The Principality's first sea water heat pump was installed in 1963 at the Rainier III Nautical Stadium. Today, Monaco has over 80 heat pumps.

Recently, the Principality has sought to innovate by focusing on tidal energy. Thanks to the Wave Energy Converter S3®, wave energy will soon be providing electricity to Monaco. 

Today, renewable energy sources account for 24% of the energy used in Monaco, but the Principality is determined to go further, and is committed to forging ahead with its policy for the environment and the development of renewable energies.