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ACCIONA launches the first-ever zero-emissions, wind-powered expedition to the South Pole

11/30/2011

On the centenary of the arrival of Amundsen and Scott at South Pole, ACCIONA is launching an expedition to Antarctica which, for the first time ever, will demonstrate the efficiency of an eco-efficient vehicle as a means of transport and for taking supplies to the Polar Regions.

The project aims to lay down the logistics and scientific foundations for developing stable research programs in the Polar Regions and sets out, in particular, to study the effects of climate change.

On the centenary of the arrival of Amundsen and Scott at South Pole, ACCIONA is launching an expedition to Antarctica which, for the first time ever, will demonstrate the efficiency of an eco-efficient vehicle as a means of transport and for taking supplies to the Polar Regions.

The project aims to lay down the logistics and scientific foundations for developing stable research programs in the Polar Regions and sets out, in particular, to study the effects of climate change.

One hundred years after the discovery of the South Pole, ACCIONA, the Spanish infrastructure, renewable energy and water group, has launched an Antarctic expedition using a special vehicle: the "ACCIONA Windpowered Antarctica", the world's first-ever zero-emissions, wind-propelled, kite-drawn sled.

This is the first scientific expedition aimed at demonstrating the efficiency of a zero-emissions vehicle which, as well as doubling as a mobile laboratory, is capable of reaching and taking supplies to the numerous ice stations scattered around the Polar Regions.

During the crossing, which is headed for the Geographic South Pole, the Expedition team will take readings and conduct tests to study the Polar surface and the effects of thawing and climate change. This way, ACCIONA takes an important step towards its aim of achieving energy efficiency, and once again leads the way in the search for solutions based exclusively on renewable energies. After all, there is no reason why major challenges cannot be met with eco-efficient answers.

The Expedition team is made up of four specialists and scientists, led by the highly-experienced explorer Ramón Larramendi. They will travel 3,500 km across the Antarctic Continent on board a sled driven solely by wind harnessed by massive kites measuring up to 80m2.The team includes Ignacio Oficialdegui, the Director of ACCIONA Energy's Department of Energy Resources Evaluation, and the Expedition will entail a number of tasks such as taking measurements and carrying out scientific tests to measure the effects of thawing and climate change on the Polar surface.

Scientific Projects

The Expedition will involve a number of scientific projects related to Global Warming and Climate Change, in collaboration with France's CNRS-IJF Institute of Glaciology and Geophysics, based in Grenoble; Barcelona's Institute of Environment Diagnostics and Water Studies, a part of the CSIC (the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe); and the "Limnopolar" Group of the Biology Department at Madrid's Autonomous University.

They will all be coordinated by Dr. Juan P. Albar, from Spain's National Biotech Center (part of the CSIC) and a member of the "ACCIONA Antarctica 2011 Expedition".

The web page http://www.accionantartida.es/en/, the corporate website www.acciona.com and social networks ( Facebook, Twitter, YouTube ) offer detailed information online throughout the entire journey. The Expedition will take advantage of Google Earth and the Panoramio app to provide detailed information on Amundsen and Scott's journey to the South Pole one hundred years ago.

The Expedition gets under way on December 1st when the team flies out to South Africa. From there, on December 6th, they fly to the Antarctic before making their way later to the Departure Point on December 9th 2011. The Expedition is expected to arrive at the South Pole between January 5th and 10th 2012, and the Expedition ends officially between January 15th and 20th 2012.

This initiative is designed to show, yet again, that clean and renewable energies are a real alternative to fossil fuels and that innovation is the way forward for coming up with effective solutions for society's needs and challenges. It also sets out to make a contribution to the fight on climate change. Recently, ACCIONA presented the " ACCIONA 100% Ecopowered", the world's first-ever ocean-going racing yacht powered exclusively by renewable energies.

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