Smart take-off towards saving energy and protecting the climate

Flying around the world without fuel, without emissions, without pollution – this may sound like futuristic fiction. “Solar Impulse” has actually transformed this vision into reality.

The project “Solar Impulse – Around the World in a Solar Airplane” formed the highlight of a major school event on energy efficiency, which took place on 2 February 2012 at the Lycée Blaise Pascal in Longuenesse, France. Two experts, Michel Loubry - PlasticsEurope - and Richard Thommeret - Solvay - shared their expertise on materials and energy efficiency with around 100 students and their teachers at the first FuturEnergia school visit of 2012.

When asked about the added-value of such event to the pedagogical process, Nicolas Zimmermann, physical science and electro-technics teacher at the Lycée Blaise Pascal, said: “Through this kind of event pupils get an overall impression of the plastics industry and its concrete applications. With this concrete example of a photovoltaic application they become aware of the necessity of energy efficiency. In addition, they get conscious of the importance of the English language in the world of science and technologies - a great experiment for French pupils! I encourage all my teaching colleagues of physical and chemical sciences to go through the same enriching experience (FuturEnergia Blog)

Our resources are finite and it is our responsibility to make sure our children have access to the same standard of living as we have today. It is therefore crucial to talk to pupils and raise awareness amongst them about the importance of energy savings and CO2 emissions reductions. Plastics offer a lot of opportunities to achieve this objective”, said Michel Loubry, Regional Director of PlasticsEurope France.

One of these opportunities is the development of a solar airplane with the help of plastic materials. Richard Thommeret, Marketing Manager at Solvay/SolVin took the students on an exciting journey while talking them through the “Solar Impulse” project. “Exchanging views with the pupils and sharing expertise with them contributes hopefully to raise interest in sciences and encourages pupils to embrace scientific careers to ensure a pool of scientific excellence in Europe for the years to come” said Richard. Solvay is an official partner of the scientific adventure project. Solar Impulse's ambition is to contribute to exploration and innovation by making use of renewable energies and to demonstrate the importance of new technologies in sustainable development (

The visit at the Lycée Blaise Pascal marks the start of school activities in the FuturEnergia 2012 edition. All schools across Europe are welcome and invited to plan, set up and share their energy-related events with thousands of colleagues in Europe!

Download here two articles on the school visit on the French press:

La voix du Nord - 6.02.2012 (pdf)
L'Independant - 17.02.2012 (pdf)

Do you find advanced engineering, innovative materials and solar energy exciting? FuturEnergia is calling out for schools in Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, to host an expert visit on those topics!



Download Michel Loubry's presentation on Energy efficiency and plastics (pdf)
Download Richard Thommeret's presentation on the Solar Impule project (pdf)

Have a look at the Solar Impulse project video "From start to Brussels":