One of the world’s most recognisable landmarks, the Eiffel Tower – or as the French call it, La Tour Eiffel – was lit up with hydrogen-powered spotlights for the first time ever in May.
The laser show, which took place during the ‘Paris de l’hydrogène’ event organised by Energy Observer, was powered by certified renewable hydrogen supplied by Air Liquide and zero-emission electro hydrogen generators developed by Energy Observer Developments (EODev). This same electro hydrogen generator also powered the exhibition village during the 10-day event.
The symbolic moment saw the Eiffel Tower structure lit up a striking blue-green hue, soundtracked by an original musical composition by Jean-Benoît Dunckel (Air).
It shone a spotlight – literally – on the significant role renewable hydrogen will have on society and the impact it could have in the future.
“The economic recovery plan must be an opportunity for France to position itself at the forefront of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production technologies,” said Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance.
“Like the illumination of the Eiffel Tower to accelerate the development of the sector in France and Europe, France is budgeting €7bn ($8.5bn) by 2030, including €2bn ($2.4bn) from 2021-2022 with France Relance.”
Victorien Erussard, Captain and founder of Energy Observer, said, “As the founder of Energy Observer, I should talk about ambition, strategy. But I would rather talk about conviction, tenacity, expertise, trust, will, urgency, a rendezvous with history that commits us to the planet, to the fight against global warming.
“With our partners, we wanted to highlight the French industry, its vitality, its extraordinary capacity for innovation, by organising this event in our hydrogen-powered village for 10 days. And, above all, to offer an historic moment, the illumination of the Eiffel Tower!
“Being at the heart of the capital, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, is a powerful symbol and the perfect way to demonstrate the potential of this energy vector and its ability to ensure zero emissions in numerous sectors of the industry and mobility, in line with some highly active industrial policies both locally and nationally.”
Energy Observer: The story behind the expedition
Want to learn more about the Energy Observer story? H2 View’s Joanna Sampson got in touch with Louis-Noël Viviès, Energy Observer’s General Manager, to find out more.
It’s 2013 and experienced ocean racer Victorien Erussard is in the middle of the Transat Jaques Vabre – a yachting race that follows the historic coffee trading route between France and Brazil. He’s halfway across the Atlantic when his vessel suddenly suffers a blackout and a complete loss of all power.
Erussard realises his engine has failed and he has nothing but the sails to keep the boat moving. This frustrates Erussard, who is in the middle of the ocean with energy resources all around him (the sun, wind and current), but no way of keeping his electronics running.
His chances of winning the race are jeopardised and he tells himself never again will he find himself in a situation like this.
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