For a slight boost in sustainability to its most iconic landmark, Paris recently outfitted the Eiffel Tower with wind turbines — and they’re just gorgeous, according to Popular Science.
The new wind turbines, via The Verge’s amazing photo essay
At the end of February, the firm Urban Green Energy installed two vertical-axis wind turbines within the 126-year-old tower’s framework, PopSci reports, and the pair will produce 10,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, enough to power the tower’s first-floor welcome center. Although the Eiffel Tower is the most visible structure in the city, the firm aimed to minimize the visibility of the turbines (the French, after all, are famously resistant to change when it comes to architecture). The turbines were painted the same color as the surrounding metalwork, and “produce virtually no sound,” according to CNET.
The Wind Tree turbine proposed for Paris’s streets, via Arbre à Vent
The 10,000 kilowatts are a minor contribution to the 6.7 gigawatts that the tower consumes per year, according to The Verge, but it is a symbolic step forward in a city mired by high levels air pollution. (Last spring saw a degree of smog comparable to that of Beijing, according to the Guardian.) Aware of its duties as the host of a global summit on climate change in December, Paris has recently been taking small steps towards sustainability. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has called to ban all diesel vehicles by 2020, and small, tree-like wind turbines that produce 3.1 kilowatts of power may line the city’s streets as early as this spring. In addition to the wind turbines, the Eiffel Tower itself is also getting LED lights and solar panels as part of a €30 million ($33.6 million) sustainable makeover.