We have interviewed initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse Bertrand Piccard for the February issue of the EU Covenant of Mayors newsletter.
Solar Impulse’s World Alliance for Efficient Solutions has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the EU Covenant of Mayors. Why choosing to partner with a city movement and what are your expectations regarding this cooperation?
A rough estimation shows that existing clean technologies and processes could divide by two the energy consumption of the world and therefore similarly impact upon CO2 emissions, if only they were implemented. Thousands of them are available everywhere, for everyone to use, but who knows about them? They are often hidden in start-ups or research labs. So few people realise how profitable they have become, both for the industry and the planet! They create jobs, generate profit and boost clean economic growth.
That’s why the Solar Impulse Foundation established the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, to federate the actors in the field of clean technologies and shed light on existing efficient solutions to fast-track their implementation.
Therefore, the opportunity to work with the Covenant of Mayors and its more than 7,500 signatories allows us to directly connect those that have clean and efficient solutions with those looking to implement them.
Decisions about how towns and cities are powered lie more than ever in the hands of Mayors and local authority representatives, as technologies and solutions that will enable the energy transition can now be cost-effectively deployed at a variety of scales. And if Europe is to achieve its 2030 energy targets - cutting GHG emissions, saving energy and increasing the share of renewables – it’s going to need these communities.
Through our collaboration, we are aiming to contribute to these targets by allowing cities that want to act quickly to have access to solutions that are ready to be implemented. Through expert assessments, we will select 1,000 clean, efficient and profitable solutions that will help these places – and many others around the world - succeed in the energy transition and protect the environment.
It’s only one part of the problem – regulation such as a carbon tax, or more stringent minimum efficiency standards are key in creating that need for innovation to come to market and be implemented – but I hope our collaboration will encourage others to join the movement and demonstrate to decision makers that it is possible to adopt more ambitious energy policies and environmental targets, and to bridge the gap between ecology and economy.
Helping mayors and their teams find ways to make this happen is of critical importance, and where the World Alliance and its 1,000 solutions can add value.
Bertrand Piccard will give an inspirational speech at the Covenant of Mayors 2018 Ceremony, and a networking event with innovators mobilised by the World Alliance of Efficient Solutions will be held in the afternoon the same day.
Make sure to be there!
© photo Philipp Böhlen