WWF catamaran sails off with the sun | WWF
WWF catamaran sails off with the sun

Posted on 18 July 2011

 WWF Solar, a sun-fuelled catamaran, will sail off today for a two month journey along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, raising awareness for the need to move towards a 100% renewable world.
Alicante (Spain), July 15th 2011 – WWF Solar, a sun-fuelled catamaran, will sail off today for a two month journey along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, raising awareness for the need to move towards a 100% renewable world.

The boat, a 14 m catamaran equipped with a 65 square meter solar panel roof, is powered solely by the light of the sun.


As an “ambassador in motion” for WWF campaign “Renowatio, muévete con el Sol” - RenoWatio, Move with the Sun – the boat will travel the Spanish coast stopping in the main coastal towns highlighting the benefits of renewable energy resources among locals and tourists.

“It’s essential that Spain leads the way when it comes to changing the current energetic model. We can’t keep on relying on fossil fuels, so it’s crucial to count on society’s support and trust in renewable energies” explains Juan Carlos del Olmo, Chief Executive at WWF Spain.

“Our goal is a 100% renewable country in 2050, and this solar catamaran, today, is our best ambassador on the quest for a cleaner future”

A recent WWF study revealed that there is still a high degree of confusion in society when it comes to renewable energies. The aim of the RenoWatio campaign is to address people’s doubts and set the record straight - clean energies are not more expensive, or unable to supply the electrical demand of a whole country.

From July 15th to September 15th WWF Solar will stop at 9 coastal destinations, traveling a distance of 1’000 nautical miles. During the four day stopovers, activities will be proposed by a group of WWF staff and volunteers, both on the boat and at the Panda stand.

WWF will display solar powered ovens and participants will have the opportunity to build miniature wind turbines or attend a lecture. They will also get a chance to sail on board of WWF Solar.

The campaign is also greatly aimed at children. For the youngest, there will be experiment workshops where they’ll be able to build and use their own solar toys.

Thanks to the collaboration of the company ByD, the campaign will use an electric car prototype, to make sure all road journeys are also emission-free. The model F3DM uses two electrical engines and the latest Dual Mode technology.

About WWF Solar

• Model: Aquabus C60
• Length: 14 m Beam: 6.6 m Draft: Max. 1 m
• Weight: Aprox. 12 tons.
• Engine: 2 electric engines, 8 Kw each
• Battery: 520 Ah/C5, 2 lead battery storage 48 V DC
• Autonomy: Cruise speed 5 knots during max of 18h (90 nautical miles) in the dark.
• Solar panels: 2 x 5 Kw, aprox. 65 m2
• Speed: Max 7 knots (aprox. 13 km/h. Regular cruise speed 5 knots (aprox. 9 km/h).
• Max. people on board when sailing: 12
• Cabins: 2 double cabins + kitchen + bathroom

A brief history of WWF Solar

WWF Solar is the organization’s flagship. It’s only power source is the light of the sun shining on its 65 square meter solar panel roof. The boat sails the ocean without any nasty pollution, noise or smells.

WWF Solar will cruise Spain’s most beautiful landscapes and crucial coastal areas, from an environmental point of view. The boat will cast the spotlight on the need of solar energy on the fight against climate change, one of the main threats in the Mediterranean region.

In 2007 the Swiss foundation, Transatlantic21 showed the World that it was actually possible to sail across the Atlantic Ocean without any fossil fuels and pledged the commitment to the modernization of the current energy patterns.

It took 7.000 miles and 5 months, from Basilea (Switzerland) to Seville (Spain) and then across the seas arriving at the Caribbean and finally New York. The boat entered the Guinness Book of Records as the first solar catamaran to cross the Atlantic Ocean

The dream of crossing the Atlantic under the sun was made possible thanks to the vision and the funds donated by the Margarethe und Rudolf Gsell-Stiftung Foundation, to whom WWF Spain wishes to show their appreciation. Without their contribution, this campaign would not be happening.

The Solar will visit some of the Mediterranean’s most important costal areas over the next 3 summer
The Solar will travel the Spanish coast stopping in the main coastal towns highlighting the benefits of renewable energy resources among locals and tourists.
© Miguel Murcia