Swiss solar expert backs ideas to save planet

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KATOWICE, Poland (AP) A Swiss adventurer who flew around the world in a solar-powered plane is using this year's U.N. climate talks to showcase high-tech ideas for saving the planet.

Bertrand Piccard presented three startups Thursday at the climate summit in Katowice, Poland, including a firm that makes refillable iron batteries so off-grid communities don't need to use generators powered by fossil fuels.

Piccard told The Associated Press that, after demonstrating it's possible to fly around the world with electricity generated from sunlight, "I'm fed up of hearing always about problems that depress everybody. I want to bring solutions."

His Solar Impulse Foundation is selecting 1,000 business ideas that are both profitable and good for the environment.

As for clean flying, Piccard predicts that battery-powered passenger planes will be technically and commercially viable by 2026.