It's a good week for renewable energy around the globe, with the world's first algae-powered building opening in Germany, and the official opening of the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere. Now, France is getting in on the action, with construction officially beginning on the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, by Swiss design firm Herzog & de Meuron.
The project consists of three parts: the stadium bowl, including the sports field and the seating; the concourse; and the aesthetic look of the stadium. Located in the Bordeaux Lac region on the banks of the Garonne in the city's north, the stadium will be able to hold up to 42,000 spectators.
Herzog & de Meuron -- which also designed the "bird's nest" National Stadium for the Beijing 2008 Olympics -- has designed the building to be elegantly light, with a rectangular roof sloping inward, supported by thin white poles.
Meanwhile, the nearby car park will be shaded from the element by a system of solar photovoltaic panels, which are to power the entire stadium. A solar plant on location will convert solar energy to electricity. The overall cost of the stadium is estimated to be around $223 million.
After the opening in 2015, the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux will host one of the 2016 Union of European Football Associations' European Football Championship matches.