London, Dec. 20 (ANI): The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, is preparing to go solar in a big way.
He plans to place solar panels on the rooftops of Clarence House, his London home, to generate his own electricity for heating and lighting.
According to The Times, he has already called in experts to see how the photovoltaic panels can be fitted onto the existing tiles on the grade II-listed building without spoiling its historic look. One solution is for the panels to be fitted on the slopes of inward-facing roofs surrounding a courtyard at the 180-year-old mansion.
With solar panels for an average new house costing between 10,000 pounds and 15,000 pounds, the bill for converting Clarence House to solar energy could run 10 times higher.
However, with a projected eight percent annual return on his investment in terms of free energy, Charles could be in pocket by 2021.
The prince has been keen to prove himself the greenest royal. He announced two years ago that his household had become carbon-neutral with initiatives such as carbon offsetting and energy-efficient boilers. He has even converted his Jaguar and Land Rover to run on bio-diesel derived from used cooking oil and his classic Aston Martin to run on a bio-ethanol fuel made from surplus British wine.
His father, however, has long been trying out alternative technologies. Prince Philip drives himself around the capital in a propane-powered London cab and 30 years ago installed solar panels on a barn roof at Sandringham to heat water. He and the Queen have also sunk a borehole at Buckingham Palace to draw water for an eco-friendly air-conditioning system in the Queen's Gallery and the wine cellars.
A spokesman for the prince said: "We are actively considering installing solar panels at Clarence House, but there are technical and planning issues to consider first." (ANI)