Isabelle Kocher, CEO of French energy company, Engie, has signed a partnership agreement with Victorien Erussard, the founder and captain of Energy Observer, and Jérôme Delafosse, the expedition leader of Energy Observer making ENGIE one of the main partners of the first ship in the world powered by hydrogen and renewable energies exclusively.
Kocher stated, “At ENGIE, we believe that harmonious progress is possible. We are proud to share this aspiration with Energy Observer and to play our part in this great adventure, a meeting point between our expertise and the boldness and the imagination of the whole crew!”
The ship is an experimental laboratory aimed at energy autonomy, without emissions of greenhouse gases or fine particles. The Energy Observer was launched in April, 2017, from Saint Malo, France, and plans on visiting 50 countries by 2022.
This former race boat, 30-metres long and 13-metres wide, has been fully transformed into a vessel of the future, powered by electric propulsion, thanks to a mix of renewable energies and a hydrogen production system that produces carbon-free hydrogen on board using seawater. Close to 50 people worked on reconditioning and transforming the boat.
By becoming a partner of Energy Observer, the company says it is “supporting a single demonstrator which is proving the viability of an energy production system that is virtuous, decarbonized, decentralized and digitized.”
Energy Observer is the first ship in the world able to produce its own hydrogen on board, by combining renewable energies (wind, solar, hydrokinetics) and sea water.
Erussard explained, “At sea, onboard Energy Observer, we need as much sun as wind, batteries or hydrogen. The situation is similar on land. Energies and storage systems complement one another, and we have to learn how to make them work together: there isn’t a unique solution to climate change, but rather plenty of possibilities.”
Energy Observer’s stated mission is a world tour over several years, led by Erussard, and Delafosse, seeking out concrete solutions that prove that a positive growth dynamic, reconciling economic growth and the common good, is possible.
ENGIE has said it expects to contribute to this endeavor by presenting solutions that the Group is developing and which aim, on the one hand, to produce and distribute ever cleaner energy, and on the other hand, to help its customers to improve their energy use.
Delafosse commented, “Energy Observer is also an Odyssey for the future to meet women and men who innovate for the planet. We want to make people dream, to teach them to think differently, to re-learn how to live in harmony with the world around them.”
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