Peoples Projects Foundation announces: Baltic to Barcelona

Peoples Projects Foundation
Press release
December 7, 2009

Peoples Projects Foundation announces:
An exciting solar transport demonstration project

Peoples Projects for the environment announces a programme to raise the funding for Baltic to Barcelona - a solar powered voyage and a parallel solar powered road journey across Europe, from the north to the south, from Stockholm in Sweden to Barcelona in Spain.

from the north to the south, from Stockholm in Sweden to Barcelona in Spain.

This is a benchmark setting solar journey involving pure solar boats on inland and coastal waterways and real practical solar vehicles on the public road.

The journey will take place over six months including stops for major solar transport demonstrations and talks and question and answer events in main cities. There will also be almost daily local solar demonstration events in smaller towns and villages along the route.

A professional crew of ten will handle the boats and drive the vehicles and run the solar transport demonstration events. There are seats for up to 18 paying passenger/participants or for sponsors to buy and distribute to guests. Separate back-up teams will look after accommodation and event scheduling and logistics and the making of a television documentary.

Average zero emissions, zero input, daily distance covered by the vehicles over the 6 months of the 3000 kilometre journey will be at least 25 km a day OR the equivalent of 25%, a full quarter, of the average daily use of all conventional motor vehicles over the same period. This will be achieved without loss of average speed or load carrying.

The parallel inland and coastal waters boat journey is longer than the road journey, over 4000 km, and involves more weekly travel than leisure motor boats cover on average or, typically, in a weekend of intensive use.

The boats and the vehicles are expected to establish benchmarks or records for trans-European solar powered journeys by practical solar transport products.

The boats and the vehicles will be totally self-sufficient in photovoltaic generated energy throughout the journey. They have no plug-in facilities and absolutely no back-up motors or fuels on board.

The journey will be the basis for a three hour 3-part television mini-series.
Peoples Projects Foundation is an active fundraising organisation with a mission, and attitude! The first Peoples Projects foundation funded project, The Solar Circumnavigator, is slated for the summer of 2011. Peoples Projects motto can be summed up as:

No need to delay,
no need to wait for new technology.
Get over it! Get on with it! Do it now!
Si-we can.

Lelystad, Netherlands December 7, 2009
Baltic to Barcelona launched.

Dixon van Iersel, 54, IT specialist and founder of Peoples Projects Foundation, said today, in Holland:

“Direct sun-to-user energy, principally in the form of photovoltaics is one of the best options open to secure the future of our world. I believe that people, ordinary people, may understand this better than do contemporary business and political communities.”

“Therefore Peoples Projects Foundation has chosen to fund, and to raise funding for, an exciting and dramatic photovoltaic solar transport demonstration project.
Baltic to Barcelona, as the project is know, involves a trip with unique solar boats and practical solar vehicles from Stockholm, capital of Sweden, to Barcelona in Spain over a 6 month period in the summer of 2010.”

“Baltic to Barcelona land and inland waterway journey across Europe will start early in May 2010 and end late in October 2010. Baltic to Barcelona will be an appropriate precursor to the 2011 Solar Circumnavigator voyage, which is also funded through Peoples Projects.
One of the three solar boats undertaking the 4000 km waterways journey will be a scaled down replica of The Solar Circumnavigator adapted for inland (canal and river) waterways and estuary and coastal cruising.”

The objectives of the journey are to demonstrate that mainstream normal - style solar powered vehicles and boats can perform more than adequately, day after day, to provide up to twenty-five percent of the world‘s transport needs without loss of average speed and average load carrying.

The words mainstream or normal are important to the definition and description of the vehicles and boats participating in this project. They will be of normal modest road and canal/river going size. The solar panel wings are well within the footprint of the vehicles and the boats, no impractical and vulnerable overhanging solar collectors. There are no supplementary drive or power elements like pedals or small wind generators or diesel hybrid motors. None of the vehicles need to pull solar panel covered trailers to provide their solar powered performance.

These are simple practical small vehicles and boats with no plug-in facilities and no use of fuels

Vehicles of this type offer a seriously achievable goal of a 25% reduction in transport emissions, averaged across seasons and latitudes, worldwide. Yet, solar vehicles, and even solar hybrids, are not even on the horizon of current alternative transport options.

The route has been chosen because it provides a range of physical and climatic conditions in northern higher latitudes.

The crew will include a multi-lingual musician, a singer, an actor/presenter, a dancer as well as a travel writer/diarist who will document the trip and write the associated book. Additional crew includes two maintenance engineers, a logistics organiser and the team leader.

The vehicles include a 3-seat Quad pulling a 4-5 seat passenger trailer. A 4-seat small car and a 4-seat 4x4 pick-up utility which will pull a mobile fold out sound stage for staging events, both pre-arranged and formalised and impromptu, along the route.

The boats include a 9 metre catamaran replica of the 20 metre Solar Circumnavigator and a 6 metre weekend solar motor boat. To make a point, 20 year old Georgia Blue solar powered tender and life raft designate to the Solar Circumnavigator, will make up the compliment of three boats.

20 years old? Yes, this technology has been around and unused for more than a quarter of a century. Of the vehicles on the trip the Quad is ten years old and the 4-seat car is seven years old, both still going strong. On the other hand the 4x4 utility vehicle and the two main solar boats are right up to date. They sport to the minute solar panel and battery and power management and drive technology.

The whole event will be filmed by a separate award winning documentary crew to make a 3-hour 3-part television mini-series. The series will use the journey (in three parts- Stockholm to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Paris, Paris to Barcelona) to provide a dramatic structure from which to examine the possible role of photovoltaics in future energy solutions including mains grid applications AND, unusually, normal day to day short range, relatively low speed, passenger and utility transport.

The message of the journey photovoltaics have been too long neglected as a major (even, majority) source of clean energy in the immediate future is a serious one. The solar energy demonstrations and presentations will be serious, thoughtful, thought provoking and backed up by real practical evidence in the form of the achievements of the vehicles and the boats.

To lighten the mood, to provide entertainment and to introduce the events and the speakers, a small group of travelling players will make up part of the permanent crew. The group is modern, stimulating and professional. Included are a musician, a singer, an actor/presenter (really a crier, in the mediaeval sense) and a dancer (tumbler juggler). A trailer with an easy to use fold out sound stage, entirely self-sufficient with power from its photovoltaic roof, will be towed by one of the solar vehicles.

The route passes through seven European countries:
Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain.
Some principle towns and capital cities on the route include:
Stockholm, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Copenhagen, Lubeck, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Groningen, Lelystad, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Lille, Paris, Dijon, Lyon, Avignon, Montpelier, Barcelona

The Baltic to Barcelona solar road and inland water journey across Europe will start early in May 2010 and finish late in October the same year.


Contact details

Peoples Projects Foundation
Salland 60
8245 CJ Lelystad (NL)

Phone: +31 (0)87 784 78 19

Email :
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