The first vessel powered by renewable energies and hydrogen, the UN’s French Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals arrived in San Francisco, her 66th stopover on her round the world Odyssey, on 6 May.
Following a stopover at Long Beach from 23 to 28 April, during which the boat played host to a number of the city’s officials, including the Consul General of France, the local harbor authorities, as well as protagonists from the hydrogen and energy industries (California Fuel Cell Partnership, Engie, Air Liquide, Toyota, CMA CGM…), pioneering ecological transition companies like Sole Technology (ETNIES, Emercia, éS and Thirty Two brands), together with students from local schools and universities, the vessel cast off from the new AltaSea campus at the entrance to the port of Long Beach.
Considered to be the western gateway to the United States, thousands of vessels and trucks converge on this massive port to transport 40% of the goods imported into the USA each year, creating significant carbon emissions in the process. This event, organized with Energy Independence Now, gathered together numerous electro-hydrogen solutions around Energy Observer (including the new FCET (Fuel Cell Electric Truck) developed by Kenworth and Toyota, the new Mirai and terminal tractor), attended by professionals from the domains of energy and hydrogen mobility, media and influencers, as well as key figures and organizers committed to combating climate change (USC Arnold Schwarzenegger Institute, Robert Downey Jr’s Footprint Coalition Foundation, and actor Ronen Rubinstein, who is notably an ambassador for Project Zero…).
After spending several days punching into some particularly difficult weather conditions in a bid to make headway northwards, the boat of the future slipped under the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge and finally entered San Francisco Bay, where the crew received a generous welcome from the Consul General of France in San Francisco and Lieutenant Governor of California, Eleni Kounalakis.
Lieutenant Governor of California, Eleni Kounalakis: “The Energy Observer is on an incredible journey that is helping people across the world see that projects like this are literally charting the way to a clean energy future. Having the ship here in California is a testament to our shared values, and vision for bringing renewable and clean energy to the maritime industry.”
Frédéric Jung, Consul General of France in San Francisco: “Tomorrow’s energies are not utopias. Energy Observer, which is circumnavigating the globe powered solely by green energies proves this. The fact that this concentration of French technologies is stopping off in San Francisco, the cradle of America’s technological innovations, is sure to create a buzz, especially in light of the fact that California, which is feeling the full force of climate change, is prioritizing energy, just like France.”
Energy Observer is an experimentation platform, an intelligent boat, 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.
Elaine Forbes, Port of San Francisco Executive Director: “The Port of San Francisco is proud to welcome Energy Observer to San Francisco. The crew’s important research will help propel maritime operations to a more sustainable future worldwide. The cutting-edge research happening aboard Energy Observer will inform water transit here in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. It is imperative that we develop new technologies and strive to be more energy-efficient and improve water and air quality as the San Francisco Bay Area is impacted by sea-level rise and climate change.”
Source: Energy Observer