After the success of the first round-the-world trip in a solar plane, Bertrand Piccard created the Solar Impulse Foundation which proposes to select 1000 profitable solutions for environmental protection, a program recognized by the UN.
An (almost) inexhaustible resource, explored since Antiquity
In less than an hour, the sun supplies the Earth with more energy than what humanity consumes in a year! But today, only a very small part of this energy is recovered to be transformed into heating or electricity. Energy production in the world is thus made up of 78% fossil energy (coal, oil, gas, etc.), and 19% renewable energies (hydraulic, biomass, geothermal energy, wind power, etc.). Solar, on the other hand, represents only 0.7% of all energies, while the potential is enormous.
We consider that solar energy is still too expensive compared to oil or nuclear power, which is not true
Man has always used the sun as a source of energy, essentially for heat, but also to make fire, by concentrating its rays. This is how, in antiquity, the Greeks lit the Olympic flame.
In the 17th century, a French engineer managed to operate a pump using air heated by the sun. Two hundred years later, a Parisian physicist discovered the photovoltaic effect. It is then possible to transform sunlight into electricity. But it will take another century for this technology to make real progress. It is by seeking to conquer space that scientists have invested the most in harnessing solar energy.
But why isn’t solar growing faster?
Many are wondering about the merits of solar, while photovoltaic panels are completely recyclable, with a lifespan of 25 years. Among the frequent questions about panels, we cite the presence of rare earths, which is only true for 10% of them. They are also criticized for their ugliness, the devaluation of our heritage, etc … But there are now, particularly with the company SunStyle, solar tiles that reconcile the production of green electricity, waterproofing a roof, and aesthetics, while generating long-term savings for the building.
“It’s a revolutionary system, which is starting to equip various monuments, in particular the French pavilion at the Dubai World Fair, and it’s a joint venture between Akuo, which is a French company, and SunStyle, which is a start -up swiss “. Bertrand piccard
These are floating solar panels installed on all types of pools. In addition, the combination of the body of water and the power plant also optimizes production by cooling the panels and preserves water resources by reducing the phenomenon of evaporation.
“We often underestimate the surface of quarry lakes, which are surfaces that are useless. Akuo Energy had the idea of installing floating solar panels. I visited one of these power plants near Avignon. It is space that becomes useful with these floating panels which, thanks to the cooling, allow to have an even better performance. “ Bertrand piccard
video demonstration for Sunstyle, solar tiles