Before embarking on its world tour, the revolutionary hydrogen-powered boat was baptised on Thursday 6 July in Paris. Here is a look back over this first stop.
Launched on 14 April in Saint-Malo, the Energy Observer boat – of which we are partners – left its signature port on 26 June to make its first stopover in Paris, from 4 to 16 July.
On 6 July, crew members and partners gathered for the baptism of the boat at Port du Gros Caillou in Paris. Who was there? Its sponsor, the current Minister of Ecological and Solidarity-based Transition, Nicolas Hulot and his sponsor, Florence Lambert, Director of CEA-Liten as well as the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and Bertrand Piccard, President of the Solar Impulse Foundation. And of course, Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse, Captain and Expedition Leader respectively, and all of the Energy Observer team.
Passing of the torch, from sky to sea
Bertrand Piccard is the solar-powered aviation pioneer. He has completed a world tour between March 2015 and July 2016 aboard Solar Impulse, without consuming fossil fuels. The baptism day, he sent Victorien Erussard the #futurisclean hashtag and offered him the Solar Impulse compass so as to “not lose course as well as the message” that it carries.
The boat left Paris on July, 16 to continue its tour of France, which will end in Monaco in December, before embarking on its six-year expedition around the world.
A floating laboratory
As regards its background, the Energy Observer boat is a former racing catamaran, which was known as Formule TAG. It was built in Canada in 1983 and remains famous after having won the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994, under the name of Enza New Zealand. “Energy Observer is a legendary racing boat, which has been redesigned as a boat of the future”, explains Victorien Erussard, Captain and President of Energy Observer.
Today, it has become a centre for innovation as it combines different technologies which provide an energy mix to ensure the autonomy of the boat. “There is no miracle solution for combatting global warming, but there are solutions that we must learn about in order to make them work together. This is what we are doing with Energy Observer: we are combining natural energies, but also those of our company, by investing the expertise of companies, laboratories, start-ups and institutions into this boat”, explains Victorien Erussard.
This floating laboratory is getting ready to embark on the greatest maritime odyssey, whilst being autonomous and energy-efficient, without greenhouse gas emissions. The programme includes 101 stops in 50 countries. In order to cover this, the catamaran features 130 square metres of solar panels and two vertical axis wind turbines. Its goal? To prove that a future which is more respectful of man and his environment is possible.
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With Planet 21, the Group is aiming for carbon neutrality and energy autonomy. More information about this commitment can be found here.