China / Society

Taoism helped Solar Impulse 2

By TAN YINGZI (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-17 07:37

Clean technology

Taoism helped Solar Impulse 2

Quick bio

Name: Bertrand Piccard

Age: 57

Hometown: Lausanne, Switzerland

Job: president, Solar Impulse

By flying Solar Impulse 2 around the globe, Piccard wants to dispel misunderstandings about clean technology.

"People believe clean technology is only clean energy, but it's not the same thing," he said. "Clean energy is just part of clean technology, and there are also many technologies that save energy. The production of clean energy, such as solar power, wind power and geothermal energy, is not enough. What is profitable is energy-saving technologies."

By applying clean technology in his own house, Piccard said he has cut heating costs by two-thirds.

He believes clean technology is the solution in the fight against climate change.

"A lot of people fight against climate change by fighting against growth and economic development. This is stupid. It never works. All countries want to have growth, and I believe clean technologies can increase the GDP in a clean way," he said.

Piccard has found Western countries lacking in the pioneering spirit to apply clean technology. He has pinned his hopes on China, the largest energy consumer and clean energy producer in the world.

"I believe that China is going to do more in clean technology than the rest of the world. China moves very fast when it decides to do something. If China decides to be No 1 in clean technology, they will do it."

About the aircraft

Solar Impulse 2 landed in Chongqing on March 31 after a 19-hour flight from Mandalay in Myanmar. The Swiss-developed plane is due to fly on to Nanjing and then cross the Pacific Ocean to the United States.

The entire journey back to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where the circum-navigation attempt began on March 9, is expected to take five months. Two pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, will take turns at the controls for 35,000 kilometers over 12 legs, including a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Solar Impulse is the first solar-powered aircraft capable of flying day and night. It is made of carbon fiber, and 17,248 solar cells built into its wings supply renewable energy.

The pilots are waiting for suitable weather conditions before taking off from Chongqing.


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