Solar Impulse is a symbol

Bertrand Piccard, founder of the solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse, calls CO2 emissions a sign of the economy’s inefficiency, and he wants to change how people think about renewable energy. The technology used to power the solar-powered airplane can also be used in other fields.

In an interview with the Swiss weekly “Handelszeitung”, Piccard confirms that he and his co-pilot André Borschberg will continue their journey around the world with the Solar Impulse 2 in April. The flight was disrupted last year when the batteries overheated and had to be replaced.

Piccard says that their record-breaking journey is comparable to other innovations such as the first flight or first car. This also means that unforeseeable problems might arise during the upcoming cross-Atlantic leg.

“If it were easy, then someone would have already done it before us,” says Piccard.

Solar Impulse is a symbol of what can be achieved with renewable energy, insists Piccard. But an aviation revolution with solar-powered aircrafts is not the goal. Piccard is far more concerned with tackling inefficient and out-dated technologies such as international combustion engines or light bulbs.

“Whoever embraces clean and efficient technology will make a greater profit in the future,” says Piccard.

Among the benefits of his project, he explains, is the motor used for the aircraft, which has an efficiency of 97 per cent. “A huge market for the economy is in machines, which use a large part of the energy supplied.”


Image credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard |

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