Eiffel Tower Falls In Love With Wind
The Eiffel Tower has been a Parisian icon for 126 years, but it was always missing something: wind turbines.
Thankfully, US onsite renewables specialist Urban Green Energy fixed that last month by fitting two vertical axis turbines inside the structure of the tower, 400 feet above the ground. We’d like to see UGE now turn its attention to using turbines to improve other world icons. For example, we’d like to see the Statue of Liberty’s torch replaced with a more renewable alternative, but we digress…
The two UGE VisionAIR5 turbines have been painted the same colour as the tower but, of course, this installation isn’t mainly about aesthetics. It’s about economics. The fact is that the organisation that manages the Eiffel Tower, the Sociétéd'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, believes that wind works.
These turbines are set to produce more than 10,000KWh of electricity a year. This offsets annual energy consumption of commercial activities on the tower’s first floor, which include a restaurant, cafe, cultural display, and a gift shop selling highly fashionable items including Eiffel Tower-branded travel cushions. And this gives the tower’s owners more certainty over their future energy costs.
Of course, this monument benefits from conditions that many other tall urban buildings don’t enjoy. The tower has a structure where wind can pass through it, and it is not bounded by buildings that would block off wind. It shows that with a little creativity there are ways to incorporate wind into even the world’s best-loved monuments.
Nick Blitterswyk, chief executive at UGE, said he was proud that its technology could help to make “arguably the most renowned architectural icon in the world”that little bit greener.
So next time you see the Eiffel Tower in a romantic film you’ve got a great excuse to start talking about the merits of wind power. Your friends and family will love you.