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Tag Archive solar

Isolating the US from green policies would make it less competitive by @marintoironi

We have seen with astonishment a recent resolution from American government, announcing its commitment ditch its Climate Change Action Plan.

After COP21 the world became a block against climate change as never before. That includes not only policies but also the consolidation of the concept of global leadership that emerges as a solid and stable pillar that marks the beginning of an effective interconnected system of joint action. However, this is not suitable for anti-globalist forces that see in this kind of initiatives a threat for their isolationist strategy that helps them to boost a far right agenda. Surprisingly climate change action has become dangerous from a nationalist political perspective.




Trump makes America an isolated Nation not only on political and foreign affairs terms but also regarding green policies and a world that is moving towards a joint action focus.

The U.S. is not rich enough in natural resources to be self-sustaining in future decades. Isolate US from global green policies in addition to not investing on innovation is an explosive combination that would make the U.S. less competitive and no resilient. Indeed, green policies are part of being resilient at national level but are not enough if is it not in conjunction with global action and cooperation: that is the only resilient way out. That goes directly in relation to a global and safe system of international relations…. not multiple-selective-bilateral relations. Even if there were political will for investing in green energies like solar or wind, they’re will not being enough if is not under good and healthy international relations. It´s for this reason the imperative for generating a new trend and a new culture among American people: to reduce individual consumption, invest in green clean energies and above all on innovation.Taking in account that US is the country that spends more in energy than the rest of the world. Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.

If there is a boycott from US to a global joint action by cancelling international agreements this could only be translated in loneliness in resilient terms.

That´s not good news for American people although good for those American industries that are not willing to invest in clean energies. Paradoxically one of the main argumentations for this switch in American focus was “recovering our jobs” however it doesn´t seem to include the ones generated by clean energies.“8.1 million renewable energy jobs that exist globally, 3.5 million are in China, compared to less than one million in the U.S.”.*China will invest £292bn in renewable power by 2020, which means new and more employment at national level. Investing in renewables is it also part of a growth strategy.

This “break” with the rest of the world is it also a break within America as it goes against the will of many citizens that have seen in climate change action a priority in the political agenda. Which represents a stronger political failure worst than the investment in itself. Going back in time and loosing all the work done at Educational level, making citizens aware of their commitment with the environment, means literally destroying an emerging American green culture as well as divided a community of ideas and potential. Joint action is the way out at global and national level.

US will become weaker and this lack of investment and sensibility towards the new challenges would make it vulnerable concerning the most important aspect of a society: Education.

Cooperation will become the only way for surviving and become resilient from a world hit by multiple crises. Joint action represents the way out that US will not have if there continue in this line of isolation and “personal” foreign affairs relations. No commitment with international agreements in addition with no solidarity is generating a negative spiral. This is not only about a unilateral anti-global focus it will generate an anti-US boycott against American products and no cooperation in times of crises.

That is the devastating impact of Trump´s anti-green policies that are not just focusing in destroying this industry but the impact that creates: becoming not competitive. Not even their allies are in line with this focus. Russia -despite their intention to have a good relation with US- has developed a strong investment in clean energies, e.g. bio fuels.

Saying no to investment in clean energies means saying no to sustainability in the medium term and saying yes to profits to private interest in the short term.

In terms of competitiveness, the development of clean energies has become part of a modern industrial and commercial way of living and producing. US will become an outsider that even there new and bilateral alliances will not accompanied them.

The only basis to explain this resistance to be out of a green global world is because of a short-term vision on financial investment. There is not a logical or visionary reason that could support a decision that will leave US behind on new technologies. Hence, more vulnerable for facing a world submerged in multiple crises. An unjustified denial for investing in innovation completes this stage of chaos in which short-termism is leading the way without vision and a smart strategy able to make US resilient.

 

*http://bit.ly/2jd6rSl

*Surrealist picture: Hossein Zare




Start a #Sustainability #Movement in Your #Organization: Part 2 Building Buy-in : Wendy Firlotte @EngageIntl

Increasing employee involvement in workplace sustainability programs is one of the top challenges for organizations. This is not surprising as most businesses face issues with competing priorities, while implementing programs that are informal and voluntary. This post is going to make a departure from the usual topics that are discussed about sustainability buy-in. It will focus on three key questions and strategic approaches that are effective at building sustainability momentum within an organization.

So, let’s take a step back from sustainability specific issues and ask a couple of deeper questions and do a bit of exploring possible approaches.

What motivates us at work?

Dan Pink, an expert on human motivation and the author of the New York Times best seller, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, shows us that there is a huge disconnect between what science knows and what business does. He discusses how 40 years of proven research on human motivation goes largely ignored by companies. Dan outlines, with case study examples, that using intrinsic motivators, across the board, increases engagement, productivity, creativity and satisfaction.

According to Pink, the key drivers to increasing employee performance, productivity and satisfaction are:

Purpose – doing things because they matter and are in service of something larger than ourselves; a higher or outward looking mission

Autonomy – a desire to be self-directed; ownership & responsibility in areas of day-to-day work, life balance, career development, organizational direction, etc.

Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something that matters – learning new skills and build our capacity to address new challenges/talks

In Dan Pink’s TED talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation”, he reveals the substance of his findings from his book. He discusses how the carrots and sticks approach to incentivizing, outside of a surprisingly narrow set of circumstances, largely never works and often destroys creativity. The proven secret to high performance is intrinsic motivation, the drive to do things that matter.

Practical Application: The key here is weaving these 3 drivers into your programming to inspire employee involvement and commitment. I often hear people say, “I tried that once and it didn’t work”. One-off and ad-hoc attempts at fostering buy-in do not work; it’s necessary to use strategic, consistent and embedded approaches to build commitment, community and a supportive culture. Creating momentum may take a bit of time, but consistency builds credibility, accountability, aids in measurement and provides a platform for effectively communicating relevant messaging.

How does being purpose driven increase buy-in and participation?

The latest trend in the corporate world is the shift to establishing a company brand promise and growing profits through purpose-driven business strategies. Research shows purpose-driven organizations that foster shared-value experience a higher level of trust, ability to innovate, employee and customer satisfaction and overall profits.

Simon Sinek, the author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, tells us that customers don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Your company’s why is the larger purpose that inspires you to do what you do every day beyond the objective of solely making money.

According to John Mackey & Raj Sisodia, the authors of “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business”, there are four general categories to consider when determining your organization’s “why” or higher purpose:

1.   Improving quality of life through service

2.   Furthering human knowledge through discovery and knowledge sharing

3.   Achieving excellence, beauty and mastery

4.   Doing the right thing




In Simon’s TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, he discusses the why (higher purpose), how (value proposition) and what (impact and scale of your offerings) of your business and the importance of starting with and discovering your why. Successful and innovative organizations start with a clear why and create aligned experiences (how) and products (what) around their brand that inspire employees, customers and investors.

Practical Application: Sustainability and corporate responsibility (CSR) initiatives are valuable alignment points to illustrate purpose-driven brand experiences that resonate with employees, customers and investors. Aligning sustainability-related activities with organizational purpose and business objectives provide a powerful platform to foster shared value, trust and ultimately buy-in from various stakeholder groups.

How do we build momentum when implementing internal initiatives?

How does an idea get widely adopted over time? We can look to the diffusion of innovation theory, developed by Everett Rogers in 1962. In his book, Diffusion of Innovations”, Rogers explains how, over a period of time, an idea gains momentum and spreads within a social system. This is essentially what Derek Sivers was illustrating in his “how to start a movement” video that was highlighted in Part 1: Steps to follow in this post series.

The theory, illustrated by a bell-curve, is broken into segments: adopters, innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%). The theory outlines how each category of adopters acts as influencers for the next segment under the curve.  A key effect in the model, which is often referred to the as the tipping point (16%), is where the rate of adoption accelerates and takes on the momentum needed for the innovation to be widely adopted.

Rogers also identified, in the Diffusion of Preventative Innovation, five characteristics that directly affect the probability of adoption of a specific innovation:

1.   Relative advantage – new idea is better than what is already available or in use

2.   Compatibility – compatible with their current habits and values

3.   Complexity – relative ease of use

4.   Trialability – potential adopter may trial it on a limited basis

5.   Observability – innovation is observed in use by other members and their results

Practical Application: When creating your programming, it is key to weave the success characteristics throughout your programming. Explore the five characteristics like a checklist and identify how your program stacks up in each area and where there are areas for improvement.

This model is also an incredibly useful marketing tool. Use the profile for each segment to create a targeted marketing strategy. This approach, using each segment profile, allows for the crafting of relevant and compelling marketing tactics and messages to effectively increase the rate of momentum and adoption.

Want to learn more?

Watch for the next installment of our 6-part “Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization “ series. Part 3 will focus on how to scale your program, no matter the size, function or structure of your organization.

Start a conversation! Please leave a comment, question or share your experiences below. Also feel free to post any burning issues that you would like to see covered in this series.

Start a Sustainability Movement in Your Organization Series:

  • Part 1: Steps to follow
  • Part 2: Building buy-in at every level
  • Part 3: How to scale
  • Part 4: How to systemize
  • Part 5: All in for sustainability
  • Part 6: Fostering culture & embedding sustainability

Connect with Wendy on :

Twitter: @EngageIntl

LinkedIn: Wendy Firlotte

Wendy is a Sustainability Employee Engagement Specialist. She specializes in translating high-level strategy and vision into purpose driven, embedded and aligned employee action. She’s a great asset to our guest blog here on CrowdLeaf.







Start a #Sustainability #Movement in Your #Organization: Part 1 – Steps to Follow : Wendy Firlotte @EngageIntl

​When I talk to organizations of all sizes and functions, their biggest pain point is essentially the same, lack of participation.  Consistently, the two biggest challenges I hear are obstacles to increasing stakeholder buy-in and deal with competing priorities in the workplace.

In corporate responsibility & sustainability, we talk about being purpose driven and embedding sustainability within the organization, but what does that mean exactly? Essentially, we are looking for ways to mobilize employees and resources toward a shared sustainability purpose. In other words, what we want to know is how do we start a sustainability movement? This is the first installment of a 6 part series where we will discuss what starting a sustainability movement means, what it takes and the key elements for success.

Before getting into how to start a sustainability movement within your organization, let’s watch a TED talk by Derek Sivers (3 mins) and break down the basic steps and key insights of starting a movement in general.

Observed steps and key insights from the video:

  1.    Leaders need to create actions that are easy to follow and show the first follower how to follow. The first followers will then show everyone else how to follow.
  2.    Leaders embrace followers as equals, so it’s about the movement, not about the leader.
  3.    The first follower is an underestimated form of leadership. It takes courage to stand out and do something new and different.
  4.    Actions must be public. It’s important to not only show the actions of the leader, but also the followers. New followers will emulate other followers, not the leader.
  5.    After the first few join, others will join because it’s less risky. Then you hit the tipping point.
  6.    Afterward, those who were sitting on the fence before, have no reason now not to join. They won’t stand out, they won’t be ridiculed, but they will be part of the in-crowd if they hurry.
  7.    Then you have a movement.

I love that these insights are clear and simple, but I also wanted to add some key ideas that relate these steps to engaging employees in internal sustainability programs; many of these will be discussed in greater detail later in the series.

Create relevance for the program beyond company purpose. If a mission isn’t relevant to employees on a personal level, outside of work, it’s not likely to resonate with them at work either. How does your company’s sustainability agenda align with a greater purpose, allowing employees to contribute to the global good? Are you relating similar actions in their daily lives at home?

The UN Sustainable Development goals are a great way to create greater overall relevance. It provides a collective (global) way forward to address the world’s most pressing issues, but allows companies to choose the goals that align with their purpose and materiality priorities. With this greater vision and purpose, employees can participate make the broader connections with the meaning behind their brand experiences.

Meeting people where they are. A key element to increasing participation is by creating programming to engage employees that reflect their varying levels of understanding and willingness to participate. Do you have activities planned to accommodate these levels of employee involvement to meet them at their highest level of engagement and potential impact?

Law of diffusion of innovation principle. According to research, the required percentage of uptake in order to achieve the tipping point when adopting new innovations is only 16 %. (That lovely number makes the task seem more manageable, right?) Here is a great talk by Simon Sinek, where he discusses the law of diffusion in more detail.

Share employee experiences. Create fun, engaging, and relatable experiences for participating employees to share and inspire others to get involved. You could highlight and share articles, videos, blogs, pictures, posts, tweets, etc. Harness the powerful resource of employee influence and amplification in networks, on social media and word of mouth.

Cultivate followers and equip them to be advocates. Advocates and enthusiasts can be your strongest resource. We are very much social beings and are strongly influenced by our peers. Often sustainability practitioners feel overwhelmed when implementing programming as they say, “it’s just me!” I say look for ways to mobilize your employees and make them all owners and leaders. Create a clear process to show your followers how to follow, so they can then easily communicate the process to other potential followers.

Focus on key messaging and ongoing dialogue.  Be consistent in your messaging, frequency and contact channels with your communications and engagement. Focus on regular messaging communications, activities and feedback. If we want activities to be embedded into our organizational ethos, it needs to be part of an ongoing conversation, not only a few times per year when specific activities are launched.

Want to learn more? Watch for the next installment of her 6-part “Start a sustainability movement “ series. Part 2 will focus on building stakeholder buy-in at every level of the organization.




Start a Sustainability Movement Series:

  • Part 1: Steps to follow
  • Part 2: Building buy-in at every level
  • Part 3: How to scale
  • Part 4: How to systemize
  • Part 5: All in for sustainability
  • Part 6: Fostering culture & embedding sustainability

Leave a Comment! We would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment or question below. Also feel free to post any burning issues that you would like to see covered in this series.

You can find Wendy on Twitter:@EngageIntl or LinkedIn: Wendy Firlotte

Wendy is a Sustainability Employee Engagement Specialist. She specializes in translating high-level strategy and vision into purpose driven, embedded and aligned employee action. She’s a great asset to our guest blog here on CrowdLeaf.




Used cups are a problem – Daizyp a solution.

Used cups are not only a challenge for recycle depending on materials and waste management, but also a big waste of space when binned and thrown away and into trash bins.




Too often we walk along streets and see trash cans quite exploding or worst we have to deal with this problem in our offices near coffee break areas or vending machines.
This is my personal experience and honestly, watching this garbage obscenity and the number of wasting bags used for waste management, I couldn’t take it anymore to see all that space wasted.

So I tried to find a solution to this problem, and too bad I found only big machines which are awesome to collect and/or destroy used cups managing big numbers, but too big and too expensive to install in my office or my home.

So here came the idea: realize a device to be inserted into the bin that let me collect and stack my used cups easily instead of trying every time to stack one into another one and often failing.

The solution should be low cost, small size and possibly affordable to everyone and most important could be applied to almost every type of existing trash bins around the world.

After a lot of modifications and tests finally a brand new tool was born to satisfy my needs: Daizyp. And using it for the first times gives me knowledge to use it even for other type of waste, or for example I found it great when using it in my office desk bin to collect coffee plastic cups into Daizyp and paper into the bin. A smart and eco-friendly solution all-in-one!

Daizyp helps people to collect used cups stacking them nicely avoiding waste of space and at the same time improving recycle collecting cups all together easily.

Daizyp transforms your trash bin into a smart one and can be installed in almost every type of trash bin.

Install and using it is very simple, all you have to do is inserting it into your bin (or outside the bin) and begin to throw inside it your used cups.
All the cups will stack together and when full emptying Daizyp is a simple and fast operation: you release the pin on the bottom and let the stacked cups fall into waste bag and you’re done.

Daizyp benefits are many and helps you:

  • save space in your bin and waste bags
  • save money – with lower costs for waste management and number of waste bags used
  • save the planet by improving recycle easily
  • educating kids to recycle having fun





Daizyp comes in 2 sizes version: normal size (84mm diameter) for plastic cups and glasses, and XL size (95mm diameter ) for fast food or big cups.

Daizyp project is young but promising: these days we are performing tests at our friend’s offices and small business and they are enthusiastics about it!

We are working for crowdfunding campaign scheduled for the first quarter 2017 and in the meantime trying to let people know Daizyp, the benefits it will bring and join the Daizyp recycle revolution.

Discover more on www.daizyp.com or follow Daizyp @thedaizyp




Are cycling and recycling parts of a green wonderland or are they a goal towards achieving resilience? 

Originally posted on  : thesustainabilityreader.com




Are cycling and recycling parts of a green wonderland or are they a goal towards achieving resilience?

Both activities are part of a big strategy based on the response of a sustainable system towards the relentless impact of climate change. Transport and waste management are a good summary of the best activities that describe a personal healthy “green” attitude. However, it awakens resistance because it something “new” that represents a complete change of diary habits. There is not a solid culture around the need to be sensible and make personal efforts (recycling, shopping habits, transport, etc).  In addition, we live in a historically moment in which the strong investment that climate change demands is surprisingly gather deniers and support from governments. Just to give a recent example, in Madrid, Spain the resolution to close the traffic in the centric area of this crowd city –only for Christmas period-, is generating debate and resistance. Most of the citizens do not understand the meaning even if it has a direct and immediate impact in contamination levels and has already achieved a successful 37% of reduction.

In the end, everything is reduced to a process of re-educate people that unfortunately is not being carried out in a systemic way. Is not even a struggle against climate change denials –that at least are informed of the existence of scientific material- but of raising awareness of the need to change personal habits by delivering constant information to the people.

Despite all this years of constant discussion about the need to reshape public an private policies around the environment is still seen as a matter of public decisions without personal involvement, that almost “magically” will make a reduction on contamination.

“Ignorance is the darkest night”… Indeed, and the lack of awareness of making changes through personal habits it make the goal for a green city literally impossible.

So, is it all about education and information? Yes, mainly because most of the reactions from the citizenship comes precisely because of being misinformed/no informed. Turn to a green city demands solid Education pillars as the Nordic countries have shown. A change of personal habits comes from the conviction and be educated and informed around green policies is the best way to get it.

Personal attitude has a real and direct impact on climate change and what its most important: it has a real possibility to successfully change it.

Cycling is a symbol for these changes, as transport seems to be one of the most important aspects for achieving sustainable goals. The use of fossil fuels is a big challenge that is usually associated as a matter of “public affairs”. Indeed, restrictions to its use needs strong legislation, however in a political world contaminated by corruption, private interests, and “revolving doors” not always success. Is for this reason that the pressure around individual attitude is much more powerful than any legislation and the only resilient way to push for changes.

If you make legislation without individual awareness maybe you succeed…maybe not, but if you make people aware of their own interests even in the long term you make history.

Cycling and recycling are not enough to make a world sustainable but it makes the difference from the easiest way to do it: change of personal habits. Being green is a matter of personal awareness that need to be rising by Education patterns boost by the State. Too much focus in legislation makes loss the focus in what is really important: individuals able to change systems, not systems that change through bottom up initiatives.

If there is a systemic “green education” cycling and recycling ´d be only the starting point for a tangible  wonderland! GO!






The goal of a sustainable world within an unsustainable political framework by @MarIntroini

Originally posted on  : thesustainabilityreader.com




“In anxious anticipation” the name of Aaron Tilley´s sculpture that illustrates our article represents the threaten impact of an unsustainable political system. Paradoxically the pillar message from political leaders is precisely: a sustainable system. The question is: Does the current political system give a framework sufficiently solid to boost a sustainable world? Let´s go to the own concept of sustainability. Among different definitions there are three pillars that gather the essence: social, economic and environment, and its only through a harmonic interaction that we could get to a balanced result. However, sustainability is mainly associated with environmental aspects and left behind the importance of economic and social misbalances. Many of the changes that the world is experimenting as a direct consequence of the advance of far-right populism, demands a reshape of the system also in terms of sustainability.In which denial of climate change is only one aspect of the devastating impact on the rest of this complex roadmap, which is launched in an isolationist message. When we focus strategies around sustainability, is precisely joint action at national and global level and the harmonic combination of the 3 main pillars that shape a holistic approach. That is so, that build extreme defences of sovereignty has an impact on sustainable goals as it demands a global approach that connect with the rest of the world. A work of harmonisation of policies at global level is also part of a sustainable agenda developed by leaders with vision.

The power to agglutinate social-economic and environmental pillars towards a goal of a sustainable system it should be based on political systems that give equal relevance to each pillar in a global context. Is in this sense that we see the inequality of priorities and the preeminence for environmental aspects over the rest. Green business has become a great goal but it could only be considered successful if is it under a holistic analysis on sustainability if not it is only about short-term business profits. Being green is also a matter of boosting sustainable goals as an essential element for a real evolution and changes. “Falling or rolling towards a Green age?”http://bit.ly/2eKDRmD. However, a culture around green is not necessary translated in a sustainability culture. This ambitious goal demands a new and strong step that fully integrates the social and economic pillar. Under current framework in which lack of transparency and accountability is the guideline of political systems (Panama papers, Brexit´s impossible promises, anti-globalist, anti-European Union, etc.) the counterbalance of social and economic pillars connecting with environmental issues seems an important challenge.

A goal of a sustainable system is not only a matter of accepting climate change challenges but also the reshape of current frameworks at political, economic and financial level if not, ineffectiveness would be the result. The crack of the global financial system confirms the “unsustainability” of current codes.

For instance, if there is an official commitment towards climate change and at the same time there is not a boost of policies (subsidies, investment, etc.) there will not be coherence with the original message. A good example of these contradictions is illustrated by failed Spanish government´s policies around wind energy, although with a strong political message in favor. “Wind energy in Spain: raise and fall”

Is not possible to get to sustainable goals if we move through unsustainable political systems. Social and economic pillars need to be addressed by a strong political will and tangible agenda. The role of political leaders play as catalyst of changes and currently are only being part of big campaigns carefully studied at marketing level but without accountability over their proposals. Maybe this is part of a transitional process in which the population needs an emotional, subjective message rather than proven and achievable objective goals.




An “anxious anticipation” is the feeling that best describe the disempowered role of the civil society and the weak but determinate message from political leaders. Making of sustainability their leading message although without delivering alternative models that radically reform the system.

Without a reshape of the political system there will not be an in-depth counterbalance of social-economic-financial-environmental pillars towards a sustainable system…not only sustainable goals.

Announcement of a regular Green Show on @VoiceFMradio by @rwscarter

Some of you have already listened to @rwscarter on VoiceFm recently, some of you are so dedicated that you have heard both of his appearance so far. Credit where it is due, that cannot have been as easy as listening to Adam from Green Hampshire or Denise from ‘Eco Hair and Beauty‘. Both the earlier show and the now regular slot. On that occasion (my first VoiceFm appearance) I was with the wonderful Denise Baden from Southampton University who was discussing the great initiative ‘Eco Hair and Beauty’ which have written for us here at @CrowdLeaf before. She also discussed the sustainability agenda in Cuba- which she tied in rather nicely with her musical ‘Fidel’. More of that can be found here along with a link to that guest appearance below.




Like wise the new green show on VoiceFM – hosted by Xan Philips and the green agenda taken forward by @rwscarter on Xan’s ‘The Business show’ every first Thursday of the month from 8pm- 9pm.

The December the 1st episode can be found above – With the inside scoop on all things Christmas ,Autumn Statement, local green campaigns, national crowdfunding news and the green agenda and insights, from £5 notes to electric vans.

As @rwscarter is now a regular guest- the first in the sequence of Green issues radio appearances os merely the start, we want your green news, campaigns and insights to share live on air. At the moment this scheduled be broadcast every first Thursday of each month from 8 PM however we are both human and sometime this may change, so keep an eye on our twitter and on here. You can tune in on 103.9FM or find us online at : http://www.voicefmradio.co.uk   . If you happen to miss the show but still want to listen, perhaps you want to take us for a train journey, or on a long walk  – there is both a listen live and as you’ve  probably noticed from the links above a ‘listen again’ option.  Thanks as always for being here with us – keep your green news, campaigns, opportunities and more coming our way. Equally there is room for suggested sustainability/green/conservation songs – please do share your suggestions.




Solar Impulse 2 the Record-breaking #solar plane is back in #Switzerland 

Some of you may have read my piece a little while back surrounding the adventures of Solar Impulse 2. I’ve just stumbled upon this news that is has now gone back to Switzerland.




That was some achievement and if it’s the way forward and it defiantly has a part to play even if it’s just switching planes to hybrid states for now. Then to all involved what a cracking job!

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/solar-impulse-2_record-breaking-solar-plane-returns-to-switzerland/42610858

Sci-Fi to Sci-Fact: Solar Impulse 2

In a surprising turn of events, we find ourselves in a position whereby we can follow two brave, pioneering, inspiring and revolutionary individuals as they fly across the world using nothing but solar energy. We wish you the best of luck and are amazed by the work you have done so far and wait eagerly to see the next development. This will only become easier as solar technology improves.

Like many of you I am an avid Sci-Fi fan… and I fought off the Super Man and Star Trek puns to make a serious point here. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg have taken on a truly phenomenal feat of engineering and blue sky thinking, to create something beautiful. The synergy and the achievement is in itself the sort of thing you would only ever find in the mysterious world of Star Trek and comic book hero’s, I salute you.

The solar powered plane, began its journey from Abu Dhabi on the 9th of March last year flying across Asia and is attempting to fly the globe, if all had gone to plan they would have finished last year. Sadly however there was issues with the batteries and they spent a few months fixing them up and have begun the next leg to carry on the stages, sharing and switching the pilots seat between the two men between the journeys.

SOlar Impluse 2

This is at present a single seat plane that weighs no more than a car but has a wing span of a Boeing 747. The plane works by raising to 9,000 meters at the beginning of the journeys in peak sun and then going down slowly towards 1600 meters. This rise and fall means that the high energy climb happens at peak generation and then the plane uses less energy as the sun goes down meaning the plane works in waves so that as the sun comes back up the plane raises again and so on.

If you want more information on the plane or the two individuals that are taking it on this epic journey I have found some links for you.

CNN have a nice video here that shows you inside the cockpit of the Solar Impulse 2

Reuters have a video of take off from New York to Spain

A post from the BBC after the first leg was completed last year

The question I would pose is that while this is early days, will there be a time in which you can spend weeks on a solar powered holiday plane? Or living on a plane for for a prolonged period or working on one. This may well be possible though obvious practicalities will have to be worked out first. Maybe Sci-Fi can be science fact in our lifetimes, it certainly seems to be heading that way and its made even sweeter knowing that its sustainable.