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Energy Observer sets course for the energies of the future

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Navigating around the world in total energy autonomy and without greenhouse gas or fine particle emissions is the challenge that the entire Energy Observer team will take up in 2017. Powered by at renewable energies and at thehydrogenène, grith its commitment to energy mix, Energy Observer will set off from Paris on a unique world tour to help the energy transition.
 
"Energy Observer is more than a boat, it's a demonstrator and a sensor of solutions. It draws a future that is already present. It is a long term evolutionary project that wants to create a wave of positive energies. I can see myself in the mindset of the team, which is resolutely turned away from an observation but towards innovation. »
Nicolas Hulot, President of the Foundation for Nature and Mankind.

6 years, 50 countries, 101 stopovers and challenges

Six years of sailing without a drop of fossil fuel, 101 stopovers around the world planned between 2017 and 2022 in maritime capitals, historic ports, nature reserves or during major international events... This odyssey aboard a floating laboratory in an extreme environment is embodied by Victorien Erussard, ocean racer and merchant navy officer, and Jérôme Delafosse, explorer and documentary filmmaker.
"The idea is to educate, raise awareness, reach out to people who are working to preserve the environment."said Victorien Erussard. The expedition will take part in major international events on the theme of sustainable development, visiting exemplary or, on the contrary, problematic places (ecosystems or UNESCO sites under threat).

 
In the spring of 2017, Energy Observer will leave its home port of Saint-Malo and the fifty people who work day and night on the eco-friendly boat for Paris. The catamaran will then begin its Tour de France which will end in Monaco, before crossing the oceans of the world. From then on, the ship and its crew will accomplish a double mission: to test and then optimize the technological innovations on board to make them applicable, but also to meet those who are committed today, to design the world of tomorrow. Decision-makers, start-ups, local authorities, citizens, etc. In the four corners of the world, men and women are mobilizing for a cleaner future.
 
 
According to Victorien Erussard, ocean racer, merchant navy officer and captain, president of Energy Observer, "There is no miracle solution to global warming: there are solutions, which we must learn to make work. And this is what we are doing with Energy Observer: making the energies of nature, but also of our society, work together by bringing together around this boat the know-how of companies, laboratories, start-ups and institutions".

The leaders of the expedition

Victorian Erussard
Victorien was born in Saint-Malo, the year after the first Route du Rhum. 26 years later, he was on the starting line of this mythical race, aboard the trimaran Laiterie de Saint-Malo. This is his very first single-handed ocean race, aboard an old 60-foot trimaran, which he himself has brought up to date, by dint of determination and a few strokes of the grinder... Although he had never spent a single night at sea before this crossing, he will finish on the podium. While acquiring a remarkable record of achievements, Victorien completed his studies as a versatile merchant navy officer to deepen his knowledge of the sea. In 2007, he competed in his first Transat Jacques Vabre, alongside Frédéric Dahirel, with whom he finished second. In 2011, Victorien decided to put his taste for competition and his appetite for challenge to work in the fight against multiple sclerosis. To do this, he set up the Défi Voile Solidaires en Peloton (Sailing for Solidarity in a Squad) for the benefit of the ARSEP Foundation, with his friend Thibaut Vauchel-Camus. This will lead them to the title of winner of the Class 40 championship, as well as a fourth place in his fourth Transat Jacques Vabre in 2015. The desire to serve a cause finally takes precedence over the thrill of the competition. This is why he agreed in 2013 to join Frédéric Dahirel in the construction of an electro-wind catamaran, which will become the first autonomous vessel powered by the energies of the future.
Victorian is:
- 10 years of ocean racing - 1 Route du Rhum - 4 Transat Jacques Vabre - 3 podiums out of 6 transatlantic races - 3 French championship titles in F18 - 2 Transat Quebec - Saint-Malo... including one without a rudder - 1 year of expedition to the South Pole - 80 partners united around the Défi Voile Solidaires En Peloton.
Jérôme Delafosse
 
It all starts in Saint-Malo for Jérôme. Hours spent sailing, diving and above all, taking inspiration from the great adventurers, explorers and privateers. At the age of twelve, he discovered the films of the Cousteau team... It was a revelation. When he grows up, he will explore the oceans. A professional diver, press and expedition photographer, documentary filmmaker and author of novels sold around the world, Jérôme takes part in the archaeological excavations of Cleopatra's sunken palace in Alexandria and dives without a cage with the great white sharks of South Africa, or even 1,000 meters in a submarine to film the abyss. In 2006, he became one of the emblematic faces of the New Explorers on Canal+ and the Travel Channel, a program in which he travels the oceans and mythical rivers, and sets out to meet the peoples of the water to discover cultures and raise public awareness of environmental issues. After fulfilling his childhood dream, Jérôme wants to become a full-fledged actor in raising awareness of the need to protect the oceans. Today, he devotes himself exclusively to it, first with Les Requins de la Colère, a documentary event on the preservation of sharks, broadcast in prime time on Canal+. In 2015, he joins the Energy Observer team, a revolutionary boat that makes it possible to explore the world while preserving it. His new challenge is to travel the planet, participate in its protection, and propose optimistic and concrete solutions.
Jerome, it's:
- 23 years of ocean exploration - 20,000 hours under the sea - 10 years on Canal+ - 1 sunken palace of Cleopatra discovered - 2,042 days of filming - 800 dives with the sharks - 1,000 meters aboard a submarine - 62 countries visited - 2 novels and 500,000 copies sold

Very committed sponsors

A man and a woman,... one used to the limelight, the other in the shadow of the labs... They join Energy Observer. Florence Lambert, Director of CEA-LITEN, and Nicolas Hulot, President of the Foundation for Nature and Mankind, are the sponsors of the boat. A double media and scientific legitimacy dear to the Energy Observer team.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nicolas Hulot and Victorien Erussard have known each other since 2005. While preparing for the Route du Rhum, the young sailor met Nicolas at the wheel of his car in Saint-Malo. He knocks on the window: "Can I bother you for a couple of minutes? » remembers Nicolas. This was the beginning of a long friendship, during which Nicolas sponsored all of Victorien's boats, and raced several Catamaran Raids with the young sailor. Inevitably, this relationship and the messages carried by Nicolas inspired Victorien a lot, right up to his new challenge: Energy Observer. Very involved, Nicolas Hulot follows the project closely, and brings all his experience and support to it, as well as the help of his team. Indeed, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation has awarded Energy Observer a 2016 "Coup de coeur" and regularly provides benevolent support to the project and its team.

 
The meeting with Florence Lambert took place in Grenoble during a visit to the CEA in 2015. Immediately, the innovation and excellence carried by the CEA-LITEN engineers convinced the Energy Observer team, who entrusted them with the boat's energy architecture. Determined to honour the know-how of the French engineers, Victorien also offered Florence the opportunity to become the boat's godmother, in order to combine the media power of Nicolas with the scientific knowledge of Florence, and thus give the project a double legitimacy, which will be its strength.

Taking technology out of the labs

Hydrogen is at the heart of the Energy Observer project. The boat couples different sources of renewable energy to produce its own hydrogen from seawater and store it on board: a world first!
To achieve this technological feat, this floating laboratory is equipped with two vertical-axis wind turbines, an intelligent traction wing, several types of photovoltaic panels spread over 130 m2 and two reversible electric motors as hydrogenerators. This energy architecture of the future, developed in collaboration with CEA-Liten, aims at an energy self-sufficient 100 % navigation, without any greenhouse gas emissions or fine particles. Energy Observer's vision of the future is to draw its energy from nature, without damaging it or wasting it.
 
"Energy is undergoing a real revolution today by integrating more and more renewable energy with different vectors: electricity, hydrogen, heat. Itthere are real technical challenges to connect these feeds and c's even more ambitious at thescale of'a boat. Thus, Energy Observer is an essential tool for the development of a new approach to energy efficiency.s energy networks will be tomorrow. » according to Florence Lambert, Director of CEA-Liten.
 
The hydrogen revolution, why didn't you think of that before? Faced with the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming, the development of renewable energies is the way forward. However, as these energies are inherently variable and intermittent, they require the development and optimisation of energy storage facilities. Among them, hydrogen (H) is demonstrating more and more its immense potential as a way of storing and developing renewable energies. Although still little used, it is an energy vector of the future, an inexhaustible resource that can be substituted for oil and gas. Its potential has led Jeremy Rifkin to write that hydrogen is one of the components of the third industrial revolution.
On Earth, hydrogen exists in very little pure form, and is usually coupled with other elements. To obtain it, it requires an extraction process that therefore involves energy consumption. Currently, 95% of hydrogen is produced industrially from fossil fuels, which is why its large-scale deployment in both industrial and individual uses still requires research and development efforts. Moreover, hydrogen is a gas that occupies a large volume under standard pressure conditions; to store and transport it efficiently, this volume must be reduced. It is therefore essential to develop technologies that allow its compression and production in a decarbonated manner, all at a lower cost, to make it an energy carrier of the future.
 
The Energy Observer project is part of this research and development approach, with the ambition of becoming the first ship in the world capable of producing its own hydrogen on board by electrolysis, from seawater, thanks to the coupling of renewable energies. The mission of this laboratory for the energies of the future is to prove the performance of hydrogen, to promote this model as an alternative to fossil fuels, to demonstrate that energy autonomy is possible and to enable the data collected to be used for multiple mobile or stationary applications.
"Energy Observer is the perfect demonstration that hydrogen makes it possible to integrate renewable energies into our daily lives. By circumnavigating the globe with 100% of renewable energy stored on board in the form of hydrogen, this ship is making a world first and opening the doors to a new era without fossil fuels. Hydrogen is wind and sun stored to supply our means of transport, our homes and our offices, continuously. » according to Pascal Mauberger, President of Afhypac, which supports the project.
 
"In the 16th century, Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and other great navigators explored new routes and discovered new lands. Today, the Energy Observer is a superb vessel to show the way towards a cleaner world, where renewable energies will be fully exploited and where hydrogen will have its place alongside other energy carriers. » says Philippe Boucly, 1st Vice-President of Afhypac.

A window to the future

Throughout the 6 years and its 101 stopovers, Energy Observer's vocation will be to become a platform for the production of immersive and innovative audiovisual content, at the service of solutions for a cleaner and more responsible future. Its mission: to anticipate our future and those who are working to make it better, to enhance the value of both people and technology. A round-the-world tour to build up a collection of documentaries in the tradition of Jacques-Yves Cousteau or Nicolas Hulot, but this time using virtual and augmented reality, 360° immersion, 3D sound, and interactive live...
Produced in collaboration with French and international media channels, to make Energy Observer a real media of the future and for the future: a collaborative, interactive and transmedia digital platform, designed to test new audiovisual production equipment, to talk about daily life on board, travel, meetings, and the innovations of tomorrow. Engaging in the ecological transition through dreams, challenges and hope, this is the ambition of these explorers of the future.
 

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Energy Observer, from legendary ship to 21st century Calypso

Energy Observer started out as a renowned competitor. Built in 1983 in Canada, record holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, the former Formula TAG was the first sailboat to cross the symbolic 500 mile barrier in 24 hours. Since 2015, a team of nearly 50 people, made up of sailors, architects and engineers from all over France, has been working on the reconditioning of this catamaran, which is over 30 metres long and 12.80 metres wide.
Sponsored by Nicolas Hulot and Florence Lambert, Director of CEA-Liten, this vessel of the future will also aim to become a true hyper-connected and innovative media, delivering positive and inspiring information: a 21st century Calypso, serving a future that is more respectful of Man and his environment.
Reducing the impact of human activity on the planet, finding innovative, high-performance solutions adapted to the modern world, in order to engage in the energy transition, through dreams, challenges and hope: this is the ambition of Energy Observer.
 
"Man has always been in the habit of going on expeditions to conquer territories and appropriate their riches. With Energy Observer, we want to launch a great expedition of the 21st century, but this time to discover the men who are committed to the planet and share their knowledge. said Jerome Delafosse, expedition leader.
 
Some fifteen companies and institutions, including AccorHotels and Thélem assurances, the project's main partners, as well as UNESCO, made it possible to start construction of this ship of the future made in France.
 
"The entire company will support this expedition, which we are passionate about because it combines innovation, performance and social and environmental responsibility. This project is fully in line with Thélem's concerns, such as climate change, a major risk for us as a mutual insurer, and the search for new solutions to transform the company to serve our member-policyholders. » Daniel Antoni, Managing Director of Thélem assurances.
 
"Energy Observer is an epic full of promise that will help set AccorHotels in motion. Every year, the Group consumes more than 400 million euros of water and energy. While we have managed to reduce this consumption by 7 % in five years, we need to go further and our partnership with Energy Observer and CEA Tech will help us do so. By making a commitment alongside Energy Observer, AccorHotels reaffirms its ambition to be a pioneer in the energy transition today. Faster progress in the search for new, clean and sustainable energies is the goal of this skills partnership. »déclarait Sébastien Bazin,Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels.
 
To achieve its objectives and be accompanied in this incredible odyssey, Energy Observer continues to actively seek financial partners in a shared spirit of innovation, exploration and social and environmental responsibility.
 
 

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