Absolutely. Enough solar energy hits the planet every minute to give the world electricity for a year–it’s just a matter of harvesting it. Many electric companies (like NSTAR) now give their customers options to purchase green, rather than conventional energy, so you could power a building on green energy without actually having to install solar panels on the roof.
It depends on two factors: How much energy does the large building need to operate (are its air conditioners energy efficient or energy-gobblers from the 70’s—are all the light-bulbs energy efficient? and other questions like this…)??? And how much renewable energy is being produced??? A large building, like an high-rise office building or a school, probably would not be able to run off just a few solar panels. But if you had an expensive, high-tech system installed which generated energy from multiple sources, like solar, wind, and/or bio-mechanical energy, perhaps a large building could be run completely off renewable energy sources! Think about the roman colosseum… it was a large building, but did it require any energy at all!?? Not much, probably just some bio-fuel to light the torches and some bio-mechanical—human- and animal-driven power—energy, to operate gates, doors, drawbridges etc.! So operating a building on less energy is possible—just think about how many days there are in the year when the weather is nice enough that we probably don’t need any air-conditioning or heating, and natural light from the sun could provide the light we need to be able to see, work, or learn—using less power is not only possible; it is crucial to making ourselves energy efficient and not reliant on foreign oil (and systems that produce the pollution which has been effecting our eco-system in a NOT NICE WAY!).
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