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01 Dec 16 14:06

Students from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands recently won the SASOL Solar Challenge after an eight day solar car race through South Africa. With a total of 4717 kilometers, the team broke the current world record of most kilometers driven in a solar race. The use of cutting-edge solar panels and upgraded aerodynamics propelled them to victory.

A great reward for their innovative spirit and their strong belief in the application of renewable energy. And earlier this year Solar Impulse' pilots Bertrand Piccard completed the first solar flight around the world. Their 17-leg journey took 21 days of flight time and covered over 43,000 km as Si2 crossed Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the USA, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. Both projects are pioneering the use of renewable energy technology and both are proudly supported by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. We recently hosted an event with clients and brokers from across the Benelux region to celebrate the student's success. Experts from the TU Delft provided insights into the latest renewables technologies, with a focus on wind power. Our weather and energy specialists shared their views on risk management in the renewables sector. We concluded with lunch in the Dreamhall at TU Delft, the nerve centre of their race team's latest endeavors where students proudly showcased the winning car and the key elements of technology which helped them secure their victory.

For me some very important elements came together, the push for Renewable Energy via Technical Innovation in our fight against Climate Change. But also our Future Talent. It was incredibly inspiring to see students in their 20's delaying their studies for a year in order to push the discussion on Renewable Energy by showcasing what can be achieved with innovating techniques. They even actively reached out to younger generations and met with school kids and teenagers aged 8 to 16 on the topic of renewable energy. To see and hear these students explaining, in a very mature way, the importance of fighting climate change gives me a lot of hope and the feeling that progress is on it's way.

In light of all this I was happy that Corporate Solutions could help fuel their passions further. We were able to arrange to the students of the TU Delft to visit the flight control centre while Solar Impulse was completing their solar flights around the world. Even a word of congratulations was sent by Bertrand to the students in Delft.
For more information, contact Jeroen Weurding, Country Manager Benelux.

Category: Sustainable energy: Solar

Location: Netherlands

1 Comment

Alicia Montoya - 4 Dec 2016, 11:24 a.m.

I worked in the energy industry for years, during which I campaigned for a transition to a clean energy future under the visionary and then Alstom Power CEO, Philippe Joubert.

From the time I started till now, we've seen the cost of renewables drop dramatically.

Thanks to the financing and lobbying efforts of visionaries like Joubert, Musk, Piccard.. renewables are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels in many countries, including the US, the world's second largest emitter of emissions.

When I participated in COP17 in Durban in 2011, I sat with South Africa's energy minister who argued developing countries deserve to power their growth with the cheapest energy available. And he's right. By cutting fossil fuel subsidies and financing renewable projects, the cheapest energy can be renewable!

Good to see companies like Swiss Re helping develop renewables through financing. We need all companies and governments behind this and renewables will win! I hope one day future generations will look at our fossil fuel-powered era like we look at sewage disposal in 17th century cities today: Primitive, unhealthy, unsustainable... and gladly a thing of the past!

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