Peter Meiwald (in red shirt), Teaki Dupont, Marco Simeoni, and Alan Roura
Peter Meiwald is a German parliamentarian and a member of the Bundestag’s Environment Commission. He flew to Lorient for the departure of the Race for Water Odyssey. He shares here his impressions.
The Future becomes a reality
What an impressing picture ! A starship, a ship ? Something really amazing, what I got to see last weekend at the old submarine-base of Lorient in France. A futuristic vessel run free of fossil-based fuels, only by the power of the sun and the wind. A deck full of photovoltaic cells, a kite to catch the wind, and an energy-storage support running on hydrogene. Shipping goes future. Finally !
Great to see, that knowing about the ecological disaster caused by extremely air-polluting and greenhouse-gas emitting fleets of ships on our oceans some courageous people (based in the landlocked country of Switzerland!) started to live their dream of emission-free cruising beyond pure sailing. A ship to show, what is possible, when engineers cross boarders of thinking, but also between nations. Pushed by the Swiss chairman of the “Race for Water-Foundation”, Marco Simeoni, a team of engineers, communicators, sailors from Switzerland, France and Germany raised up this marvellous project to serve the protection of our marine environment.
Alan Roura greets Peter Meiwald on the Race for Water.
In a very special way they bind two issues, on which I’am working as a politician for many years, together. Working for our energy-future (in German we call it “Energiewende”) and fighting against the plastic-pollution of our oceans (actually about 8 millions of tons every year) by giving researchers from many countries a base in the sea and running great sensibilisation-events alloverall in the world. And that with an extremely enthousiastic team of people burning for their ideas.
What is new on it ? The intelligent combination of solar-power, the SkySails-kite, and a hydrogen-storage-system. Once showing his performance in the realities of crossing the oceans during the upcoming 5 years it will promote the idea of emission-free shipping much better than it could be possible by international legislation-negociations. And the idea of tackeling the plastics-problem right from the land-side – i.e. by the ETIA-idea of taking plastic-waste as an energy-ressource in a decentralized system – is fitting perfectly together with the idea of building up an international plastic-convention, which we just started to discuss under the umbrella of adelphi and the Heinrich-Boell-Foundation in Berlin.
Let’s put our forces together ! Race-for-Water-Foundation, engineers, sailors, researchers, politicians like the beautiful Teaki Dupont running for French parliament or the mayor of Lorient, M. Norbert Metairie, who gave us some very clear words about our common responsibility for the protection of our environment at the press conference on the day of the departure of the vessel.
Peter Meiwald discusses with Alexandre Closset of SwissHydrogen
I was very happy having had the opportunity to participate in this great event in Lorient, accompanying the Race for Water for the first miles of her tour around the world without sending black smoke out of the boats chimney. May she always have a hand wide water under the keel!
Leaving the dock, onward to Madera and Bermuda