A joint effort of scientists, sailors, and investors from around the world, Planet Solar has made a huge push for solar energy by developing the world’s largest solar powered boat. Today, the 60-ton smart yacht is nearing completion, and soon it will make a voyage around the world leaving nothing but waves in its wake.
The global shipping industry has been struggling to find ways that it can improve its efficiency and generate fewer carbon dioxide emissions, and despite breakthroughs in salt water and algae fuels, progress has been slow.
According to EarthJustice, “ships transport 90 percent of the world’s consumer goods, including computers, cars, shoes, clothes and toys…Ships burn tons of fuel per hour, generating 3 to 4 percent percent or more of human-generated global warming gases – more than commercial aviation.”
If successful, the launch of the futuristic-looking Planet Solar boat will demonstrate the versitility of renewable energy, and a bright hope for how the shipping industry might one day be able to eliminate its carbon footprint.
Picking up and dropping off passengers at various major ports, Planet Solar is scheduled to return to Europe in April 2011 after leaving it’s home port in Kiel Germany on February 25th. This venture aims to raise awareness of the fact that transportation and cruise boats currently emit a large portion of the planet’s total carbon emissions (PSFK).
Because the shipping industry is under-regulated, its environmental and public health impacts will escalate tremendously as global trade triples over the next two decades – unless new air pollution and no-discharge laws are enacted by national and international bodies (Earthjustice).
Image found at Luxist.com