Energy Observer supported by Accor will reach London for the final stop on the European leg of its world tour this month. After the London stopover, the unique vessel will continue its global mission by embarking on the next leg across North East Asia in 2020.
Energy Observer is the first autonomous hydrogen vessel that emits no greenhouse gases or fine particles. This electrically propelled vessel of the future operates through a mix of renewable energies and a system that produces carbon-free hydrogen from seawater. This technological and scientific challenge aims to test cutting-edge technologies in extreme conditions, anticipating the energy networks of the future that could be used on land.
Accor has been a main partner of Energy Observer since development of the vessel began in 2015, reaffirming the company’s commitment to sustainable development and its ambition to be a pioneer in the transition to renewable energy.
Thomas Dubaere, COO Accor, Northern Europe said: “At Accor we are extremely proud to be supporting this pioneering initiative and very much looking forward to hosting its final stopover on its Northern European tour in London. For us this is so much more than just a sponsorship – as a Group we are passionate about continually reducing our hotels’ carbon footprint and our partnership with Energy Observer is just one example of our commitment to speeding up the transition towards new, clean and sustainable energy sources.
“The partnership reflects our longstanding commitment to sustainable development as reflected in our Planet 21 programme – we have a commitment with ambitious targets to bring about a shift in standards and protect our planet. Accor has been forging partnerships with active players in energy technology innovation with the aim of speeding up the transition toward renewable energies. By committing ourselves alongside Energy Observer, Accor is proud to reaffirm its ambition to be a pioneer in today’s energy transition.”
After its arrival in London, the boat will be docked by Tower Bridge until 13th October 2019. It will be accompanied by its travelling exhibition which will be installed at St. Katharine Docks and is freely accessible to the general public.
A reconditioned former racing boat, Energy Observer is now an experimental laboratory platform for future energies. With a combination of three sources of renewable energy (sun, wind and hydro-kinetic) and two forms of storage (batteries and hydrogen), it is a symbol of an energy revolution which is already moving ahead, adapting to all territories and all latitudes. The vessel’s mission is to test these cutting-edge technologies in extreme conditions around the world, to allow concrete feedback of experience on this intelligent energy system.
Energy Observer has covered more than 15,000 nautical miles since its inaugural trip around France in 2017. The full world tour will take six years, covering 50 countries with 101 stopovers. The voyage is led by captain Victorien Erussard, founder of the project and France’s first ambassador for the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, and Jérôme Delafosse, expedition leader and documentary film series director.
The partnership with Energy Observer reflects Accor’s longstanding commitment to sustainable development as shown in its Planet 21 programme whose two key priorities by 2020 are to engage hotels in the energy transition by moving towards carbon-neutral buildings and to offer healthy and sustainable food while eliminating food waste. For Accor, this is an opportunity to engage all its stakeholders – employees, hotels, guests, loyalty programme members – around this vital transition. Examples of Accor’s Planet21 commitment to sustainability include the planting of over 100,000 trees in the UK in partnership with the Woodland Trust, more than 26,000 meals saved in Northern Europe though an international partnership with food-waste app Too Good To Go, as well as the planting of 59 urban gardens and 42 beehives across the region.
In parallel with Accor’s partnership with Energy Observer, Accor has formed a technical and technological partnership with CEA Tech, an applied research laboratory specializing in alternative energies and the ship’s technological supplier. The aim behind this collaboration is to test the Energy Observer electricity installations in a number of pilot hotels before considering a wider-scale roll-out.