Virgin Hyperloop One says Middle East system can be powered completely off-grid

Clean energy system in line with UAE’s Federal Energy Strategy 2050

Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), the American transportation technology company, has said that its system can be powered completely off-grid in the Middle East, with zero direct emissions.

In a statement ahead of the World Future Energy Summit, the company said that the hyperloop, which is capable of traveling at speeds of more than 1,000km/h, the hyperloop can connect all Gulf cities within an hour from each other. It added that the system can move 45 million passengers per year in the region, while also leveraging solar panels which cover the tube, for power.

This was revealed as the company participated at this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global platform that seeks to accelerate sustainable development. The annual event is taking place in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, from January 11 to 18. VHO is presenting at ADSW’s headliner event, the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) to discuss what it will be like to travel in the 21st century.

Jay Walder, chief executive officer at VHO, said: “As cities around the world feel the impacts of climate change, we need viable solutions. Transportation is one of the biggest areas that needs to be addressed. Yet we have seen little progress since the introduction of the railway and commercial air travel.

“At VHO, we are committed to a massive leap forward to offset the impacts of vehicle, train and air travel in a way that no current technology can. We estimate that per passenger, hyperloop is 50 per cent more energy-efficient than high-speed rail and up to 10 times more than flying.

“As a result, all Gulf cities could be less than an hour away from each other, powered by a zero-emission network that is energy neutral and could be completely unplugged from the grid in the Middle East,” he asserted.

VHO’s clean energy solution is in line with the UAE’s Federal Energy Strategy 2050, the company said. It explained that the solution supports the strategy’s goals to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050 and reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%, thus saving $190.5 billion by 2050.

The company has already attracted major investors from the UAE, including DP World – VHO’s lead investor, the statement added.

Speaking about the participation at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and a connected Gulf, Harj Dhawali, Managing Director of the Middle East and India at Virgin Hyperloop One, said: “We are very excited to participate at this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The event provides us with a unique opportunity to promote hyperloop technology as the world’s most sustainable mode of mass transportation and engage in meaningful dialogue and for a more connected region.”

In October, VHO announced the results of a strategic study commissioned to build the world’s first extended test and certification hyperloop track in Saudi Arabia.  The Virgin Hyperloop One Center of Excellence (CoE), if approved, could create more than 124,000 high-tech local jobs and drive a $4 billion increase in Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 2030, according the study.

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