The achievement of Solar Impulse 2 – circumnavigating the globe using nothing but the sun as a fuel source – has far reaching implications for the implementation of clean, energy efficient technologies.
Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Abu Dhabi last week, after completing a round the world trip, using only the sun as its fuel source.
The plane – piloted by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg – completed the first ever round-the-world solar flight in 21 days, over 17 legs.
This breakthrough is significant.
Not only was the flight a world first, but because it has sparked an opportunity to implement clean energy technology initiatives on the ground as well as in the sky.
"Until recently, protecting the environment was expensive and threatened our society’s comfort, mobility and growth. Today, thanks to modern clean technologies, the energy consumption of the world, and therefore the C02 emissions, could be divided by two, while creating jobs and enhancing profits,” said Bertrand Piccard.
Solar Impulse 2’s success has implications of for a variety of business and industrial sectors.
As solar and other non-renewable technology develops, so will their presence on infrastructure and transport.
This is not far off, as seen by the first test run of China’s elevated traffic-straddling bus, and the discovery of levulinic acid – a versatile oil substitute, recognised by the US Department of Energy.
The formation of the The International Committee of Clean Technologies (ICCT) – born from the team around Solar Impulse 2 – will further this clean energy ambition.
The non-governmental organisation’s patrons that include Richard Branson and H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, will advise governments and corporations on how to develop and use clean technologies.
André Borschberg, who helped establish the ICCT, said: “The International Committee of Clean Technologies is a fantastic opportunity to bring together a group of experts, with diverse experiences and backgrounds, to speak in one voice and leverage the efforts needed to bring change and influence global decision makers in the areas of clean technologies and renewable energy.”
This rally is not just environmentally necessary, it is financially beneficial.
The Climate 2030 Blueprint shows that deep emissions cuts can be achieved while saving U.S. consumers and businesses $464 billion annually.
Homes and industries account for the majority of carbon emissions globally.
Energy-efficient building designs can significantly reduce the energy demands of both sectors.
Investing in energy-efficient tchnologies surrounding transport, and buildings combined with equivalent heat and power systems has long term financial and environmental benefits.