Solar pilots spread the ‘clean energy’ message


The two Solar Impulse 2 pilots are spreading the word on clean energy, as seen here with Myanmar President U Thein Sein at Mandalay International Airport on March 20, 2015. Photo: Solar Impulse

The two Solar Impulse 2 pilots are spreading the word on clean energy, as seen here with Myanmar President U Thein Sein at Mandalay International Airport on March 20, 2015. Photo: Solar Impulse

‘Clean energy evangelists” Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are hosting events and visiting schools in the Mandalay region to spread their message of a cleaner energy future.

After pilot Piccard flew the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft in to Mandalay from Varanasi in India on March 19, he and his colleague have been meeting Myanmar government officials, including President U Thein Seing, and the public to explain their adventurous mission is not just to try to break a world record to fly around the world on solar power only.

What had been dubbed an “impossible mission” is demonstrating that ground-breaking clean technologies can help to wean the world off fossil fuels. 

Together with host partner FMI and in partnership with Yoma, they are also holding events in a grand-sized tent that has been erected to temporarily house the solar aircraft.

Myanmar faces major challenges in expanding its limited electrical grid that currently only serves about one third of the country. Obvious power options are coal, oil and gas, together with hydropower. But small scale efforts are being made by commercial companies and NGOs to encourage the use of solar energy, on a personal or small business level.

The pilots are staying a few days on the ground waiting for the weather to improve over China. The flight to Chongqing is expected to take about 20 hours.

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