World's largest solar-power boat arrives amid climate talks

The 31-meter-long Turanor PlanetSolar, whose deck is covered with solar panels, is driven by solar-generated electricity alone and can cruise at maximum speeds of between 8 and 9 knots, according to its 64-year-old German owner, Immo Stroeher.

The boat, which has been on a voyage around the world, left Monaco in autumn and arrived Tuesday in Cancun, where a UN climate change conference is being held. It plans to complete the journey in the spring of 2012, he said.

"The theme of this ship and its around-the-world voyage is to create consciousness about what you can do with solar energy," Stroeher said, adding he wants to take his boat to the Japanese city of Hiroshima some day.

PlanetSolar, with six crew members but not the owner himself, is set to leave the Mexican resort on today for Cartagena, Colombia.

Delegates from nearly 200 countries at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP16, have until tomorrow to reach decisions after making little progress during the first week. (Kyodo)

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