Photovoltaic panels that generate energy from the sunlight have a long life. I dont recall exactly how many years but it will easily somewhere between 20 to 30 years. There are no moving parts [except maybe some controlling motors that align the panels to the sun] and hence there is very little maintenance.
In efficient solar power systems the arrangement is such that it is connected up with the regular power supply grid. When there is excess of solar power generated it is actually sold back to the grid. It maybe hard to believe that excess solar energy can be generated but it is very much possible if the design of the building and its needs are modified.
Even the color of the paint outside a building can increase or decrease heat absorption and radiation. White reflects back most of the light where as black absorbs light and then radiates the heat when saturated.
The contemporary architects and builder have started to design energy efficient buildings. About servers powered by solar power is quite impossible to claim 100% reliance on renewable energy. But renewable enery systems and energy saving should be a must to reduce dependence on polluting energ fuels like coal, oil and nuclear. So instead of that JLo or exotic fishes floating as your screen saver just turn off the monitor and save a bit of energy.
here is an interesting news article.....
US blue over India's Green title
WASHINGTON: America wants it back. No, not the outsourced jobs. And not the GE-404 engines or the fire finding radars. It wants to win back a title that has, against all form, unexpectedly come India’s way – the honour of hosting the world’s “greenest” building.
That champion designation for the most environment-friendly building in the world was won earlier this month by the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad, an acclaim that went largely unnoticed in India.
Awarded by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), the designation recognizes structures which combine new technologies and materials with energy-efficient architecture.
In fact, the Indian design is considered so revolutionary that USGBC had to upgrade its rating system to recognize its unique features.