Skip to main content
Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

Solar cemetery: a new form of green burial?

Posted by Jason Ramsdale on 23 March 2016 at 10:30 am

Santa Coloma de Gramenet cemetery, just outside Barcelona in Spain, brings a new environmentally friendly option to the table. Having installed 462 solar panels on top of their mausoleums they generate enough electricity to power 60 homes. It has become a 'solar cemetery'.

Usually when people talk about a green burial they are referring to a more minimalist funeral service, free of man-made materials and chemicals. This might involve forging the coffin, or opting for a shroud or wicker basket. It may be choosing to be buried or have our ashes spread in the woods rather than in a cemetery, or having a tree in place of a gravestone. Whatever the presentation, the message remains the same - minimising the impact of one's death on the world around us.

But cemeteries and solar farms have a lot in common; they both require large open expanses of land, preferably in quiet undisturbed locations. While cemeteries are affected by what is happening underground, solar panels only need to have access to sunlight. This difference could make them mutually compatible and if installed together would raise the income value generated by the land.

Many solar farms in the UK have an active ecological programme set to improve or preserve the local plant and animal biodiversity. This makes for an attractive place to visit lost loved ones and presents an excellent opportunity to make a statement on how we choose to let go of life as well as how we choose to live.

I understand this might not be for everyone, but I for one wouldn't mind sharing my space with some solar panels after I'm gone. After a couple of decades a friendly solar worker might be the only visitor I'd get anyway!

I'd love to hear people's opinions on this - how many people would be willing to be buried in a cemetery that shared its space with a solar farm? Leave your comments below.

Image & Source: BBC News


More information about Energy Saving and Renewable Energy on YouGen.

Find an installer

Need help with any Jargon?

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

Like this blog? Keep up to date with our free monthly newsletter


1 comments - read them below or add one


InglesideComment left on: 1 April 2016 at 8:46 pm

Sounds like a plan. We've already picked out our green burial site, and it would work there. I've always been struck by the amount of grass that there is around fields of PV panels, so having some grass over my dead body, and PV on top of that sounds good. The only snag would be the need to install cables to move the electricity from where it is generated to where it is needed - dead people don't use electricity!


report abuse

Leave a comment

You must log in to make a comment. If you haven't already registered, please sign up as a company or an individual, then come back and have your say.