World's largest solar-powered ship completes global voyage

The MS Turanor PlanetSolar docked in Abu Dhabi Saturday for the World Future Energy Summit 2012. Having travelled more than 48,000 kilometres using only solar energy, the vessel arrived in Abu Dhabi to complete its journey of over a year.

MS Turanor PlanetSolar, the biggest solar ship ever built, is currently docked at the Abu Dhabi Marina, close to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), where it will stay tied to the wharf for the entire duration of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES ) 2012.

The ship, which departed on 27 September 2010 from Monaco's harbour for a journey around the world from the East to the West, is a guest of honour at WFES 2012, as part of its official national stopover partnership with WFES 2012.

Measuring around 101 feet long and 49 feet wide, the MS Tûranor represents what can be done today with solar energy. Over the past year, the ship has been circling the globe, passing by Miami to the Panama Canal, to the Philippines to Hong Kong to Doha and Abu Dhabi and will end its journey back in Monaco Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive of Masdar said: "We are pleased to welcome PlanetSolar to Abu Dhabi for the 5th annual World Future Energy Summit. PlanetSolar's voyage around the world spreads an important message about renewable energy and sustainable living and encompasses the wise leadership's vision to create a greener future though a unique platform.

"Sustainable transport has an important role to play in developing future clean transport solutions and projects such as PlanetSolar and Solar Impulse, a solar aeroplane, demonstrate innovative ideas in sustainable transport solutions," he added.

The World Energy Council estimates that total fuel demand in all transport modes by 2050 will increase by 30% (Tollway) to 82% (Freeway) above the 2010 levels and will be driven entirely by trucks, buses, trains, ships, and airplanes.

Sustainable transport

"The United Nations estimates that the shipping industry alone is responsible for 4.5% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and PlanetSolar's voyage actively highlights the importance of sustainability within this industry. On a local level, Abu Dhabi Ports is actively promoting sustainability in shipping within the UAE and in 2011, received three awards for sustainability in their operations," said Dr. Al Jaber.

Abu Dhabi is taking strides to enhance sustainable transport through a variety of measures at both Masdar and beyond. Masdar City utilizes electric vehicles and Personal Rapid Transit vehicles (driverless automated vehicles) within the City. Earlier this year, Masdar partnered with Eithad to cooperate across a range of activities to reduce the airline's carbon footprint through sustainable and energy efficient measures.

"It's a great honour for PlanetSolar be a part of this Summit," said Raphael Domjan, Initiator and Expedition Leader of PlanetSolar. "We believe that our planet deserves a better, brighter and less polluted future and we want to prove that the impossible can be made possible."

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