Eiffel Tower adds 2 wind turbines, solar array in green makeover

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The Parisian landmark is now generating all of its commercial electricity needs, after the installation of 2 vertical axis wind turbines and a solar array.

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One of the world’s most renowned architectural icons, France’s Eiffel Tower, is now generating its own renewable energy, after the addition to the monument of two on-site, vertical axis wind turbines and a small solar array.

The turbines – located above the Tower’s second level – were installed by Urban Green Energy International (UGE) as part of a renovation and upgrade to the first floor, and will produce 10,000kWh of electricity a year; enough to cater for the commercial energy needs of the newly revamped tourist attraction.

UGE says it designed and painted the wind energy system to match the tower, and to top off a series of other efficiency upgrades the Tower has undergone as as part of the City of Paris Climate Plan.

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One of the vertical axis turbines installed at the Eiffel Tower, Paris. Photo Credit: UGE

The turbines are “virtually silent”, according to the company, and were designed and located – at 120 meters above ground – to capture wind from any direction and maximise energy production.

The 10m² array of solar panels is mounted on the roof of a visitor pavilion at the site. Its output will meet abouf 50 per cent of the water heating needs of the Tower’s two pavilions.

LED lighting and high-performance heat pumps have also been installed to ensure a constantly balanced temperature. The two pavilions also have gained a rainwater recovery system that provides flushing water to the toilet facilities.

“We are proud that our advanced technology was chosen as the Tower commits to a more sustainable future,” said Nick Blitterswyk, CEO of UGE.

“When visitors from around the world see the wind turbines, we get one step closer to a world powered by clean and reliable renewable energy.”

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22 Comments
  1. JonathanMaddox 5 years ago

    Just sometimes, a vertical-axis wind turbine is the right tool for the job.

  2. lester 5 years ago

    Wish the Australian Government would take a Green Leaf from France in this regard…
    Big Coal have their hooks firmly entrenched, and we the people deserve clearer thinking….

  3. Roland Scherr 5 years ago

    Why not? 🙂

    • john 5 years ago

      Joe has this problem with spinning things evidently they are offensive.

      • Beat Odermatt 5 years ago

        Joe must love the dust of coal, the smell of burning coal and the beauty of high voltage power lines.

  4. Barri Mundee 5 years ago

    Some solar panels on parliament house roof and a few wind turbines nearby would be great too. (Plenty of hot air to help power them).

    Joe Hockey will be unhappy but then he probably won’t be there much longer.

    • Beat Odermatt 5 years ago

      It may be the way to keep Hockey and other tin hats out of Paris.

  5. Pete Danko 5 years ago

    Vertical-axis turbines are cool! But I don’t know. They still seem like a luxury — something that only works if you don’t really care about the economics and you have no other renewable-energy options at your site. Based on some Web searching, looks like these turbines go for around $30,000 apiece. So we’re talking at least $60,000, without counting extras to put them in their unique location, to produce maybe $2,000 worth of electricity a year (based on the 10,000 kWh claim verifying, and based on the residential price of electricity in France of around $0.20/kWh; if you use wholesale price of electricity, the value is much lower yet). That doesn’t include any maintenance costs.

    • Beat Odermatt 5 years ago

      How did you come up with these figures?

      • Pete Danko 5 years ago

        Turbine cost based on a couple of retailer listings found through Internet search (as I said). 10,000 kWh annual combined production claim is from the story. Electricity prices are available through European Commission.

      • john 5 years ago

        Because we know what we are talking about beat

    • john 5 years ago

      Ok so $60 Capex
      Output over 20 yrs. @ 10K a year = 200KwH
      net cost of power 3c KwH.
      So double it at 6c KwH still very cheap.

      • Pete Danko 5 years ago

        Your decimal point is in the wrong place.

        10,000 kWh per year.

        Thus 200,000 kWh in 20 years.

        $60,000/200,000 kWh = $0.30 per kWh

        Which doesn’t factor in the cost of the money, or the maintenance on the machines.

        So, yeah, double it. $0.60 kWh. Not so cheap.

        Look, I’m all for renewable energy. Love solar. Love big wind and even some small HAWT wind. But if I’m paying for it, I’m not installing a vertical-axis wind turbine, all I’m saying.

        • john 5 years ago

          No way is it 30 cents a KwH

          • Pete Danko 5 years ago

            Agreed — like I said, you’re probably right that it’s double that.

          • john 5 years ago

            The usual figures now in any country is in the 9 cents for wind or below for solar.
            For a small system yes it will be more costly however 30c a KwH is way off the curve for effective installation this is 2000 figures but does not surprise me as people always make wrong decisions

          • Pete Danko 5 years ago

            “The usual outcome”? There is no such thing for small VAWTs in urban locations. Look, it’s cute. It’s cool. It’s fun. But it has nothing to do with the LCOEs you see published for wind, which are for 1.5-2.5 MW horizontal-axis turbines sited in excellent wind resources with few obstructions. That’s a big difference between wind and solar. Solar can go small and urban without losing too much of value proposition; wind can’t. Oh well.

          • john 5 years ago

            Pete
            vertical axis turbines very costly that is why the output against Capex Is out of kilter
            However a value judgement to put in this decision because frankly they have no other option due to the visual value of the property they have.
            So do a cost benefit study loss of custom against return devaluing the property comes out as in favour of using a poor system that does not devalue the property.

    • john 5 years ago

      Perhaps you have nailed it the vertical axis turbines are very expensive hence my trouble with the Capex

  6. john 5 years ago

    Having a look at the cost of the installation they really put in a pretty dumb system this is not actually a very good resolution as the usual cost using the long time cost of energy they have made a pretty poor decision.
    The Capex is too high this is a very poor outcome against industry standard.

  7. dividebyzero 5 years ago

    This is terrible. Vertical turbines are inherently inefficient. Put a couple of horizontal-axis turbines there and you would get four times the energy for a fourth of the price! To pick a vertical turbine for a public project with this visibility is a disaster.

  8. Breakingwind 5 years ago

    “will produce 10,000kWh of electricity a year; enough to cater for the commercial energy needs of the newly revamped tourist attraction”

    No !! That’s just a silly statement –

    The first floor includes a 130 seat conference venue with full catering, several Buffets, a 200 seat restaurant, a souvenir shop and exhibits about the history of the tower, open for 14hrs/day, with ~ 19,000 visitors / day.

    The VisionAIR5 Turbine Max Generator UL Rated = 3.2 kW; Average output = 2.5
    kW (that’s less than a kettle + a microwave)

    http://www.urbangreenenergy.co

    They claim “the 2 turbines are capable of delivering 10,000kWh of electricity annually” Great – BUT – The windmills will provide only 0.15% of the electricity necessary for the tower’s annual consumption.

    The Eiffel Tower consumes 7.8 million kWh of electricity per year (the equivalent of a small village), including 580,000 kWh for all its lights and 705,000 kWh of heating and air conditioning are also required every year, + cooking , 9 lifts & water pumps for 60,000 m3 of drinking water, etc. The monument also uses 20,000 lamps‘to make it sparkle every night’, for 10 minutes on the hour.

    Even Jan Gromadzki, an engineer with the New York-based Urban Green
    Technology (the company was tasked with designing and installing the turbines),
    admits “It’s just a small drop in the ocean.” “This installation is definitely more symbolic,”

    Read more: http://thelibertarianrepublic….

    &

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new

    Do the maths….You would need 1,560 of these units to power the tower….IF the
    wind was blowing!!

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