- Energy Observer is a French project that set sail from Saint-Malo in northern France in 2017 on a 7-year expedition around the world.
- • The first of her kind, Energy Observer is a technological triumph: the laboratory vessel powered by renewable energies and hydrogen, navigates the oceans entirely self-sufficiently in energy and produces her own hydrogen aboard.
- • Energy Observer is making her first-ever stopover in the United States, in Long Beach, from 23 to 28 April.
After a 27-day sea passage from the Galapagos Islands, a Unesco biosphere reserve, having covered nearly 3,000 nautical miles entirely self-sufficiently, Energy Observer navigated the Los Angeles River, greeting the majestic ‘Queen Mary’ along the way. Full of contrasts, the symbolic encounter echoed the sea change in operation between the past maritime world and its carbon-free counterpart of the future: going from a historic ocean liner to a zero-emissions laboratory vessel, which draws its energy from nature whilst preserving it.
Receiving a warm welcome from the French Consulate in Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach, and the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the crew helmed by Victorien Erussard brought the catamaran alongside at Pine Avenue Pier in Long Beach.
The United States of America is the first country to have integrated hydrogen and fuel cell technology in its energy policy, even creating a special day back in 2015, which is celebrated nationwide each year and is dedicated to this energy medium. Since the first oil crisis in the 70s, research has accelerated and certain states like California have imposed some drastic new measures in terms of the reduction in emissions. Hydrogen is used along the whole of the Californian coast, which boasts the highest concentration of cars running on hydrogen (over 7,000 in 2019) and a goal of 5-million zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, compared with 350,000 today.
California Fuel Cell Partnership Executive Director, Bill Elrick: “Hydrogen has a unique role to play in the energy transition as a unifier of renewables and technologies like fuel cells. Energy Observer is a real-world working laboratory and showcases some of hydrogen’s best attributes.
Energy Observer is a platform for experimenting with the latest innovations in terms of the transition of our energy systems. She is an intelligent boat, whose electric propulsion is powered by renewable energies: sun, wind, and marine currents. However, what makes her truly unique is her ability to store her energy in the form of hydrogen produced from the electrolysis of seawater, a technology that enables the vessel to navigate the oceans entirely self-sufficiently in terms of energy, without polluting the environment.
From Heliogen, an RH2 production site using ultra-high temperature heat from the sun to SGH2 Energy Global, which is planning to build a large green hydrogen factory from biomass, and also the future Air Liquide factory to the north of Las Vegas, a liquid H2 production facility in Nevada, which will fuel the West coast’s mobility market, as well as Toyota mobility campaign, whose cars and trucks are largely found on the city’s main arteries and in the port of Long Beach as far as Lancaster, a city with high hopes of becoming the first metropolis to be fueled by Hydrogen in California.
About Energy Observer
The Energy Observer project was born in 2013 from the commitment of Victorien Erussard, merchant navy officer and ocean racer. Aware that it is now vital to commit to saving the planet, he assembled a complementary team of sailors, scientists, engineers, and reporters in order to create the first self-sufficient vessel capable of drawing its energy from nature whilst also preserving it.
The dream became a reality 4 years later when the Energy Observer ship was launched for the first time. Developed from a legendary catamaran, Energy Observer is a laboratory for the ecological transition, designed to push the limits of zero-emission technologies.
Hydrogen, solar, wind, and water power, all solutions that are experimented with, tested, and optimized with a view to making clean energy a practical reality that is accessible to all. Criss-crossing the oceans to meet those coming up with sustainable solutions for the planet every day, Energy Observer has become a movement, a round-the-world Odyssey, where every stopover is an opportunity to learn, to understand, and to share these different forms of energy.
Energy Observer has received the High Patronage of Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. As the first French ambassador for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, it is officially supported by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, UNESCO, the European Union, Irena, and Ademe.
Source: Energy Observer