The panels are estimated to generate as much as 5,800 kilowatt hours per year, the equivalent of $3,500 worth of surplus electricity, which will be routed back to the German power grid. Any profits from the panels will be donated to job- and skill-training programs for disadvantaged youth.
To hear what the pope has to say about energy use, and to find out about tax credits for renewable energy,
“Technologically advanced societies can and must lower their energy consumption, either through an evolution of manufacturing methods or through greater ecological sensitivity among their citizens. It should be added that at present it is possible to achieve improved energy efficiency while at the same time encouraging research into alternative forms of energy,” said Pope Benedict in a prepared statement.
The Vatican's roof was also covered with solar panels, beginning last Winter. Pope Benedict was also instrumental in the Vatican's plan to install a $600 million solar plant. A 6,000-seat hall's heating, cooling, and natural light needs will be supplied through 2,700 solar panels. When the hall is not in use, the energy will be used to power the Vatican.
If you live in the United States, you can find about renewable energy tax credits here.