Energy Observer’s 35th stopover began this morning in Amsterdam, a crucial point in Europe and the second biggest port in the Netherlands.
Welcomed by Philippe Lalliot, French Ambassador to the Netherlands, the city and the port of Amsterdam, the crew of the world’s first hydrogen vessel around the world led by Victorien Erussard, captain and founder, and Jérôme Delafosse, expedition leader, has moored the vessel and set up its exhibition village in front of the former NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij) shipyards, a rapidly changing district.
This stopover will allow to introduce solutions proposed by the city and more importantly the Netherlands, in terms of energy transition for keystone innovations, but also the integration of a technologically revolutionary new brick to the vessel.
Marieke van Doorninck, Deputy Mayor for Sustainable Development, City of Amsterdam: “Amsterdam wants to become a sustainable and climate-neutral city. We will reduce our CO2 emissions by 55% in 2030 and by 2040 we must get rid of natural gas completely. Energy Observer shows that the techniques necessary to achieve this great change are available. It is therefore an honour to welcome Energy Observer to Amsterdam and I hope that the ship will be an inspiring example for each of the 100 ports of call.“
Many companies, startups, research centers, universities, and technological colleges will gather around Energy Observer and its partners, a truly floating smart grid. Each person can discover the vessel (visible but not accessible to the public) and the exhibition that presents its technology (open freely to the public), but also its incredible, “Odyssey for the future,” an around-the-world trip to see innovations and pioneers who innovate for the conservation of the planet.
Jérôme Delafosse: “We are very pleased to be here in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands notably as the first French Ambassador for the sustainable development goals set by the UN. This region is in fact developing numerous practical initiatives in terms of recycling, farming for the future, greener energy… The Netherlands already committed, more than one year ago and thanks to the strong desire of citizens, to reducing its CO2 emissions by a quarter by 2020. We should gather these energies, which have a positive impact on climate on an European scale, draw inspiration from them, and bring our leaders and the public on board a new global movement! “
Energy Observer has embodied this new dynamic for over two years, with 10,326 nautical miles logged since its departure from Saint-Malo in June 2017. It’s a truly experimental platform featuring electric propulsion; it works using renewal energies which feed a system of hydrogen production using sea water. It doesn’t emit CO2, fine particles, or noise that could disorient underwater fauna. Carbon-free hydrogen has huge potential for clean mobility.
Victorien Erussard: “Northern Europe is truly an ideal playground for discovering new, inspiring, and exemplary solutions when it comes to sustainable development. Each voyage and each meeting gives us some hope, but also often deep worries about our future and that of our children. We would like these concerns to turn into hope, into solutions and into practical innovations for our planet. Our futuristic vessel must leave behind a trail of creativity to revolutionize the travel of tomorrow. Hydrogen will play a key role in this”.
Energy Observer, ambassador of the hydrogen revolution, has also just confirmed its partnership with the Hydrogen Council, a global initiative launched by 13 multinationals in the energy, transport and industry sectors which aims to promote the emergence of joint action in order to demonstrate that hydrogen, a carrier of environmentally-friendly energy, can play a major role in the global energy transition.
This stopover is also a crowning moment for Energy Observer’s engineers with, on April 18th, a real technological breakthrough in wind propulsion: two rotating VPLP Design Oceanwings®, self-propelled and fully automated blades, which will reduce the energy consumption of the vessel, will increase its speed but, above all, will produce energy and hydrogen whilst sailing.
A system that has never been tested before on the scale of such a big vessel and which could revolutionize the maritime transport of the future. According to Victorien Erussard,“The installation of these Oceanwings® is a first step to reduce the environmental impact of global maritime transport. They would lead to a decrease in energy expenditure of 18% to 42%. This is a significant figure if we consider that 90% of world trade is conducted by sea and that maritime transport is responsible for heavy air pollution”.
Eduard De Visser, Strategy and Innovation Director, Port of Amsterdam “I am very pleased to welcome Energy Observer to the Port of Amsterdam. His arrival allows us to see a carbon-free maritime transport in the future. The production and distribution of green hydrogen is one of the key sectors for the Port of Amsterdam. Near the port – in the North Sea – one of the largest wind farms is under construction. The Port of Amsterdam is committed to developing the production of 100MW (15,000kt) of green hydrogen and thus encouraging real sustainable alternatives to marine and air hydro fuels.”