CAIRO, Egypt, - Solar Impulse 2, Si2, the solar-powered plane, attempting to become the first aircraft in the world to circumnavigate the globe without using a drop of fossil fuel, took another step towards its epic goal, when it touched down in Egypt at 07:10 Egypt time today. The plane was received at Cairo International Airport by Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation, Sherif Fathy, and the UAE Ambassador to Egypt, Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi.
Cairo is the iconic aircraft's sixteenth and final stop, before reaching Abu Dhabi, the city where Si2 began its record-breaking journey in Mar, last year. Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, is the official host partner of Si2.
The futuristic aircraft left Spain for Egypt on July 11, after flying over the Gemasolar solar thermal power plant, located 60 kilometres to the west of Seville. Masdar is a partner in Gemasolar, a 20-megawatt clean energy plant which, like Solar Impulse, runs on renewable energy 24-hours a day, thanks to a combination of advanced solar power technology and energy storage.
Yousef Baselaib, Senior Adviser to the Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, was part of the Solar Impulse 2 welcoming committee in Cairo.
"Solar Impulse's arrival in Egypt is further proof that clean energy is a viable technology in the realisation of a more sustainable future," he said at a press conference, with pilot Andre Borschberg, who completed his last flight at the controls of Solar Impulse 2 on the Seville-Cairo route.
"Solar Impulse is a window onto the future but also a spotlight on what can be achieved with clean technology today: increased access to sustainable energy and a better quality of life for more and more people around the globe," he said.
The penultimate step in Si2's round-the-world adventure, Egypt is also a showcase of Masdar's thriving partnerships in clean energy and commitment to clean-tech innovation.
Since the solar-powered plane left Abu Dhabi in 2015, Masdar has rolled out four projects in the country, including 30 megawatts of utility-scale solar power, and installed 7,000 solar home systems that are helping to electrify rural communities. Altogether, the projects are providing clean power to more than 25,000 homes and displacing nearly 43,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
"Rural electrification is a key objective of the Egyptian government, and I am delighted that Masdar's customised solutions are benefiting communities across seven governorates," added Baselaib. "Egypt is playing a major role in the wider adoption of renewable energy and clean technology in the Middle East and North Africa, a fact highlighted by the historic arrival of Solar Impulse 2 in the country."
In Apr, Masdar officially completed a 14 MW project on the Red Sea, comprising four photovoltaic (PV) diesel hybrid power plants, which supply clean power supporting the region's tourism sector.
Three other PV diesel hybrid facilities in Al Wadi Al Jadeed Governorate became operational in Dec, 2015, bringing electricity to Egypt's largest but least populated governorate.
Hasan Al Redaini, the UAE representative escorting Solar Impulse 2 on its round-the-world trip, said, "I am proud of the UAE's commitment to diversifying Egypt's energy mix and to advancing sustainable development. As we reach the end of our journey, I am inspired by the positive impact clean energy is having around the world, symbolised by the success of Solar Impulse 2, particularly on poor communities and our youth."
Since Solar Impulse 2 began its epic journey in Abu Dhabi in Mar, last year, it has made stops in Oman, India, China and Japan, before completing the first half of its circumnavigation of the globe late last summer, on a 7,212 km trans-Pacific flight from Japan to Hawaii. After hopping across the US, Si2 departed from New York and arrived in Spain before making its penultimate trip of the epic journey to Egypt.
Source: Name News Network