Energy Observer, the first vessel powered by renewables and hydrogen, has arrived at Athens, Greece, twentieth stopover of its world tour. Since it left Saint-Malo last June, Energy Observer has traveled more than 7,000 nautical miles, without emitting any greenhouse gases or fine particles, to meet up with the pioneers whose innovations are contributing to the ecological transition. After a turbulent navigation in the Aegean Sea, the vessel has reached the Peloponnese. It will stop over at the Flisvos Marina to meet with Athenians until June 23rd, 2018.
Off to Athens
Energy Observer has been navigating the Mediterranean since March 28th. After Tunisia, Israel and Cyprus, the vessel traveled through the Greek islands, from Crete to Dodecanese to the Cyclades Islands, to shoot it’s documentary series “Odyssey for the future” meeting the pioneers who work for a cleaner and more solidary planet.
After leaving Mykonos on Monday, June 18th, at 3 pm, the crew reached Athens on Tuesday, June 19th, at noon, having traveled 90 nautical miles during a 21-hour trip. The vessel will stay in Athens for 5 days so that the public can discover the onboard technologies of the first hydrogen vessel around the world, a laboratory for tomorrow’s energy, and to meet local ecological transition pioneers, to discover the innovations met during the journey in Greece.
Greece, an archipelago with many green and solidarity initiatives.
The country, which is facing the most serious economic crisis of its history, must now deal with major environmental problems – hydric stress, pollution, mass tourism, intense maritime traffic, conservation of the Mediterranean sea which is more vulnerable than ever. How to make the environmental cause worthwhile in this present context? A complex challenge for the transition actors, and a good illustration for the crew of the interconnections between the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN, for which the vessel is the first French ambassador. Because many are actually convinced that the protection of ecosystems, the energy transition and the reconversion of old companies can make it possible to develop new social connections, generate value and, ultimately improve the country’s situation in a significant manner. These are topics which the Energy Observer team, led by Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse, has wished to explore while crossing through the Greek islands.
Our Odyssey in the Greek islands has made it possible for us to take stock of the incredible potential of renewable energy, especially on Tilos, an island with 700 inhabitants, which will soon be self-sustaining thanks to a single wind turbine and several solar panels. This example, which should be reproduced in the entire archipelago, has shown that the energy revolution is within reach without, however, overlooking committed social and solidary policies
In Greece, we have discovered a people who, despite the crisis, is slowly learning to reinvent itself. In developing numerous environmental and social projects at the local level, they have initiated the return of a more sustainable economic activity which proves that another world is possible.
Athens, the last stop in Greece
The Greek capital will mark the final stop of the nearly three week Odyssey across the country, one of the longest of the expedition. The stop will be classified as a meeting with the public, but also with local authorities, economic players, and partners who are all gathered to welcome Energy Observer and to remind their support of this initiative.
At the press conference held on board this Tuesday, June 19th, the French Ambassador, Christophe Chantepy, praised the project’s daring and exemplary nature, which epitomizes the future thanks to its innovative ecological technologies. He particularly emphasized how Energy Observer initiative was part of the efforts France had made to contribute concretely to the international fight against the effects of climate change.
Other players and project partners also made a point of welcoming the vessel, including Engie Hellas, Toyota and Trygons, whose eco-runner came to escort the vessel upon its arrival.
ENGIE is committed to harmonious progress. Like Energy Observer, we want to show, notably through the solutions we develop, that mankind can progress, financially, technologically, innovation-wise without affecting the environment. Greek people are deeply attached to the seas and are striving to find solutions to fight seas and oceans pollution. We wish we had more boats and initiatives like Energy Observer and we, at ENGIE, are proud to be a partner of this unique odyssey.
We are really happy to have the opportunity to welcome to our country, and specifically to Flisvos Marina, Energy Observer vessel, a project carrying the vision of achieving sustainable cities and communities, and also improving the quality of people's life.Toyota is a company with a 90-year history and commitment in the development of mobility for the benefit of the societies all over the world. The adoption of alternative ways of sustainable mobility is an integrated part of our strategy, as it can be proven by the series production of hybrid-electric cars in the markets of the world, and by the constant progress of the hydrogen fuel cell technology. Our support to Energy Observer initiative is based on the common vision of the two companies for the future of mobility, and the fact that this operation represents a particularly ambitious and extremely innovative project, directly connected to the Toyota's Global Vision
In Athens, other meetings with local authorities and high schools mark the rhythm of the stopover, which will be based at Flisvos Marina. The vessel will be visible, although not accessible, to the public until June 23rd, before heading across the sea towards Albania.
The first French ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals continues his Mediterranean mission for a sustainable planet.
The meetings held in Greece will be filmed as part of the documentary series “L’Odyssée pour le futur“, that the Canal+ group broadcast at the beginning of 2018. But also in a web series on concrete and applicable solutions, to acknowledge the implementation of the 17 sustainable development goals adopted in 2015 by the UN, all over the World, and of which Victorien Erussard is the first France ambassador.