The first zero-emission boat is preparing for its six-year trip around the world in spring. The vessel referred to as Energy Observer is empowered only by emission-free energy and equipped with solar panels, wind turbines and a hydrogen fuel cell system.
The boat will be powered by the Sun, wind and self-generated hydrogen. It was a former multihull race boat that turned into a green vessel and had received about $5.25 million makeovers. It is currently in a shipyard in Saint-Malo and will sail from the Brittany port. It will make its first of 101 stops in 50 countries in Paris, according to CBS News.
Nicolas Hulot, French environmentalist and who attended the project presentation on Wednesday at the UNESCO headquarters, said that this boat will demonstrate that there are many solutions for an energetic transition. He further said that all solutions are of nature.
Energy Observer was originally designed in 1983 under the supervision of Mike Birch. It had its career in sailing races and even won the Jules Verne Trophy, under captain Peter Blake, in 1994. Then, it was overhauled in 2015 by Victorien Erussard, Frederic Dahirel and filmmaker Jerome Delafosse, according to Earth.
Erussard said that he is passionate about new technologies. He further said that building a self-sufficient boat could have seemed utopian, but this is going to be an incredible vessel. He added that it is very promising for the future.
He explained that they bank on the diversity of renewable energies and if there is no Sun or wind, or at night, they have the option to draw in their hydrogen reservoirs. He further explained that they will produce this hydrogen in a decarbonized manner through electrolysis of the sea water.
Meanwhile, Mark Z. Jacobson, the engineering professor at Stanford University, said that he believes that it is fantastic that a boat powered by hydrogen and electricity will travel the world. He further said that it is a significant step forward and consistent with this proposed path to 100 percent clean, renewable energy worldwide for all purposes to solve energy security, job creation, air pollution and climate problems.