Third day at COP21

Wednesday 2nd December 2015

Agent 001’s Journal

Wednesday 2nd of December


André Borschberg crossed paths with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He looked stressed.


We took a group photo of all agents in Paris.


I just heard that a new coalition has been announced: the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation. From what I could grasp the aim is to make water systems resilient to climate change and to reduce its impact on oceans. More than one billion dollars were secured during negotiations. Good news for Joe the shark.


I grabbed a tuna sandwich, and, as I was taking a bite, guiltily remembered that tuna populations had suffered a catastrophic decline of 74 % in the last 40 years. I think I heard that during the President of Kiribati’s speech on the first day. Being the head of a small island in the middle of the Pacific, it’s no wonder he’s worried about his tuna. 

Anyway, I quickly moved on to my tiramisu.


Bertrand Piccard did an interview for Aviation Without Borders, a non-governmental organization aiming to put the aeronautical skills of its members to the service of humanitarian assistance. They worked together when Bertrand launched his Winds of Hope foundation to rescue child victims.

Note to self: we tend to focus a lot on the economic and environmental pillars of sustainability, but let’s not forget the social pillar!

Bertrand spoke alongside Gerard Feldzer, former French airline pilot and now an aeronautical popularizer. If you ask me, he looks a bit like a shorter Einstein. He also confounded the Zebunet association, which extends small loans to poor farmers in the South, as well as the Transports passion association which organises various events around eco-mobility each year.


We met Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of Economy. Bertrand insisted on the fact that for clean technologies to take off, we also need a legal framework and proper investment. Let’s hope it didn’t fall on deaf ears.


I took advantage of the coffee break to check out the top3 solutions on

  1. Instead of always focusing on producing more energy, let’s save energy by implementing the most energy efficient devices existing today
  2. Promote renewable energy resources
  3. Don’t ask people to sacrifice their life style, give them efficient energy devices

And I tried to think of existing technologies that would make all the people who voted for these solutions happy. We keep telling everyone that the clean technologies developed for Solar Impulse can be implemented on the ground to tackle climate change. But I think it’s time we showed some concrete examples!

The three technologies that came to my mind first are:


Ultralight Efficient Solar Cells

Schindler used the same cells as us to design a solar-powered elevator dubbed 3300 Solar:

  • Travel capacity: 400 trips
  • Weight capacity: 400-675 kg
  • Electric motor
  • Up to 300 kg of CO2 saved a year
  • No wasted power: up to 25 % energy recuperation, used to charge the accumulators


Energy-dense batteries

The energy-density of our batteries, which allowed the plane to fly at night, was optimized thanks to a special additive called Solef PVDF. This component also served to improve the performance of the electric Bluecar which was picked for the Parisian car sharing system Autolib:

  • Autonomy: 250 km
  • Maximum speed: 130 km/h
  • Energy-density: 100 Wh/kg


Composite Materials and Featherweight Structures

The carbon fiber components, which allowed the plane to be as light as possible, were adopted by the French company Kleefer for its foldable electric scooter Bud-e:

  • Much lighter than a scooter made of aluminium
  • Removable plug-in lithium battery pack, fully rechargeable in 2 hours
  • Driving range: 20 km
  • Maximum speed: 25 km/h


Not only do these three inventions use existing technologies and renewable energies, but they also ensure mobility, which is a great part of our modern lifestyle. 


Agent 002 just reminded me that the Grand Palais, where over 100 private and public networks will be presenting their clean solutions, will open on Friday.

Note to self: go find some cool techs to share with Solar Impulse followers.

End of entry.


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This blog post has been originally posted here.