World first: Energy Observer arrives in Spitsbergen

World first: Energy Observer arrives in Spitsbergen

Described as the most symbolic stopover in its Northern Europe Odyssey, the Energy Observer has arrived on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, powered solely by renewable energies and hydrogen – a world first.

Since the beginning of the adventure, the Energy Observer’s team had dreamed of taking up this challenge: to rally the Artic in total energy autonomy, without CO2 emissions, fine particles or noise pollution that could disturb the ecosystems, in complete harmony with nature.

They finally arrived in the Svalbard archipelago, considered by the scientific community as ground zero of climate change, on Saturday (10th August), and proved that it is possible to navigate in extreme conditions in total autonomy by drawing energy from nature, without any ecological impact.

© Energy Observer

Victorien Erussard, Energy Observer’s Captain, said, “We sailed from Russia to Spitsbergen in total energy autonomy and demonstrated that our energy mix is the future not only of maritime transport, but also of the new energy networks developed on land.”

“Moreover, in such a remote and yet deeply impacted by climate change region, it is a strong symbol to arrive with this ship without an internal combustion engine or without the use of diesel unlike any other vessel, including sailboats.”

“It is urgent to act on all fronts! We can’t wait any longer, the next few months are crucial.”

“We really want to show that our resources are not unlimited and that we must cooperate with nature intelligently as we do with our boat: we produce what we consume, we go at the speed that REN’s allows us to reach!”

“It is true, we are the first to accomplish this feat, but this is not a competition, we are doing our part to raise awareness among citizens, decision-makers and industrialists about the absolute urgency to reconcile man and nature.”

Expedition Leader Jérôme Delafosse added, “Reaching the Arctic with renewable energies and hydrogen may have seemed impossible, but we have done it.”

“Beyond the technological challenge, it is a political message that we wish to convey.”

“Spitsbergen represents the ground zero, the epicentre of climate change, and it is here that the devastating effects of humanity on climate and biodiversity can best be seen.”

“We wanted to prove that if we can sail in an extreme environment thanks to this ship, tomorrow everyone will be able to live thanks to REN’s and we will have a real tool to transform the world.”

“It is true, we are the first to accomplish this feat, but this is not a competition, we are doing our part to raise awareness among citizens, decision-makers and industrialists about the absolute urgency to reconcile man and nature.”

“The decisions we make in the coming years will have an impact on the next millennia.”

© Energy Observer

Officially launched in Brittany, France on 14th April 2017, the Energy Observer is making the first-ever trip around the world powered solely by hydrogen and renewable energies, with zero greenhouse gases or fine particle emissions.

It will travel around 50 countries on a six-year world tour demonstrating the feasibility of these technologies under extreme conditions so they can be rolled out on a larger scale, at sea and on land, for mobile and stationary purposes.


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