On Friday, September 21, the Portuguese stopover for Energy Observer, the first hydrogen vessel around the world, was officially launched. The crew, led by Victorien Erussard, Energy Observer’s founder and captain, and Jérôme Delafosse, expedition leader, arrived on Monday, 17th of September, in Lisbon to attend the Oceans Meeting, an international conference for the oceans organized in Lisbon. But it’s with its exhibition village that was inaugurated on the 21st of Septembre that Energy Observer’s stopover has begun.
After sailing through the Tagus estuary, the vessel reached the Praça do Comércio*, the central plaza of the Portuguese capital. For the occasion, Jorge Seguro Sanches, Secretary of State of Energy, and Jose Sa Fernandes, advisor on sustainable development for the city of Lisbon, were hosted on board Energy Observer.
Sailing in search of the city’s iconic places using only renewable energy and hydrogen: the 25 de Abril Bridge, Belém Tower and, of course, the Praça do Comércio where the vessel can be seen until the 30th of September.
« Energy Observer is a source of inspiration for the renewable energy sector, as this vessel proves that renewable energy is now a reality and that it’s becoming more efficient every day. The production of clean electricity is facing a major challenge in terms of storage and mobility. As such, Energy Observer is setting an example to be followed » said Jorge Seguro Sanches, Portugal’s Secretary of State of Energy.
The 33rd stopover of the Odyssey for the Future
For Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse, Lisbon is a symbolic capital of the Odyssey for the Future, the Odyssey 2018’s last stopover before returning to Saint-Malo: « Lisbon is a city with a very symbolic maritime history, from which many great expeditions have departed. We are happy to continue this tradition by opening a new shipping channel using renewable energy and hydrogen. Even in the 21st century, there are no limits to exploration and discovery » said Victorien Erussard, captain and founder.
«We are very honored by the welcome that we’ve received in Lisbon, both from the City, the Government and the people of Lisbon. This stopover, in this rapidly changing country that is focused on using renewable energy, is very symbolic and we are looking forward to meeting the Portuguese pioneers who, like us, are passionately working to make tomorrow better than today » added Jérôme Delafosse, Energy Observer’s expedition leader.
Lisbon, the “European Green Capital” in 2020
Last June, the Portuguese capital was nominated “European Green Capital 2020” by the European Commission to reward the city’s ambitious policies regarding sustainable development. The city of Lisbon has reduced its CO2 emissions by 50% between 2002 and 2014, as well as its energy and water consumption by 23% and 17%, respectively, over 6 years. Lisbon is also famous for its network of electric vehicle charging stations, one of the largest in the world.
« Energy Observer is not a dream, it’s an existing and ongoing project that is growing as a result of renewable energy. We would like to share this experience as cities are a major challenge for sustainable development. Lisbon will be the Green Capital only in 2020 but, in reality, it starts today with Energy Observer », said José Sa Fernandes, advisor on sustainable development for the city of Lisbon.
Meeting with the Portuguese public and pioneers
After meetings with politicians and institutions, Energy Observer will now be focused on the general public, and those who are innovating for ecological transition. More than 200 square meters of the village is dedicated to vessel technology and the trips already made by the crew from Saint-Malo in June 2017. Virtual reality, 360° mapping and interactive exhibition, a completely free space that is dedicated to the Odyssey for the Future*.
But there is more: on the ground, it will also be seeking innovative solutions in favor of ecological transition, which will be the image for the SOLUTIONS web series, dedicated to the pioneers, who are implementing the 17 sustainable development goals all over the world, of which Energy Observer is the first French ambassador.
* The vessel can be seen every day from the Praça do Comércio during its stopover, but won’t be open to the public.