Solar Powered Ship First to Circumnavigate the Globe
The MS Tûranor entered Monaco’s Hercule Harbor today at 2.12 PM, becoming the first ship in history to complete a circumnavigation of the globe powered entirely by the sun.
The journey took over 19 months and 37,000 miles, docking at ports in six continents and fending off pirates along the way. The ship's team preached about solar at various stops around the world.
“The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is much more than a ship,” Immo Stroeher, the German entrepreneur whose investment made the trip possible, told Wired. “It has become an ambassador of solar energy. The arrival in Monaco is only the start! We now have to take advantage of the fame of PlanetSolar in order to promote the use of solar energy.”
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The 115 foot long, Swiss catamaran completed the voyage without any major problems aside from having to occasionally wait for the sun to come up in times when the ship's batteries ran out of juice. This weekend, the team celebrates its feat with a concert and laser light show powered by its batteries. Prince Albert II will tour the ship on Saturday before the Tûranor makes its way to Marseille for a solar power conference.
The fate of the ship itself is up in the air, but its impact will be everlasting.
“We are considering renting out the boat for scientific or commercial uses or even selling it,” Stroeher told Wired. “We are open for ideas and in talks with interested parties – from the use as a ‘green’ luxury yacht to scientific usages and the utilization as the world’s largest mobile solar power battery, everything is possible.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.