Solar-Powered Car to Travel Around the World
The SolarWorldGT, a 100 percent solar-powered car from Bochum, is in California today, starting its US portion of its journey around the world. The car completed its first 3,1000 miles in Australia and New Zealand, but is aiming for a 21,000 mile record-breaking drive throughout other various countries. In the next 49 days, the SolarWorldGT is expected to complete a 3,700 mile journey from California to South Carolina before heading to the next stop.
The two-seater sports car was developed by American solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld and Bochum University of Applied Sciences of Germany. Kevin Kilkelly, president of Solarworld Americas, told Business Wire, “The SolarWorldGT is an ambassador for sustainable transportation, reminding us that the power to shift our driving habits away from dirty fossil fuels is within our grasp. Clean energy from the sun is there for the taking—without depleting the Earth's riches.”
After the car reaches South Carolina, it will continue its journey on to Europe, Africa and Asia before heading back to Australia later this year.
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For those interested in seeing the car in person, see the schedule of stops below:
4 p.m. Feb. 3, University of California Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Management, Santa Barbara, CA.
8:30 a.m. Feb. 6, SolarWorld Americas, Camarillo, CA.
4 p.m. Feb. 10, Arizona State University, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, Tempe, AZ.
4 p.m. Feb. 23, Texas Christian University, School of Geology, Energy and the Environment, Fort Worth, TX.
4 p.m. March 9, Florida A&M University, High Performance Materials Institute, Tallahassee, FL.
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly