The Hydrogen Council, a global initiative of leading energy, transport and industry companies and Energy Observer, the first hydrogen vessel to travel around the world that emits no greenhouse gases, fine particles or noise, have entered into strategic partnership to advance hydrogen technologies.

Together, the two groups will help accelerate the energy transition by making wide-scale, decarbonised maritime transportation a reality. 

Maritime transport currently emits around 940 million tonnes of COannually and is responsible for roughly 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This could increase by between 50% and 250% respectively by 2050, according to the International Maritime Organisations (IMO).

“The Hydrogen Council is proud to partner with Energy Observer. We support and are inspired by their core mission of using hydrogen to decarbonise marine transport,” said Pierre-Etienne Franc, Co-Secretary of the Hydrogen Council and Vice-President of Air Liquide’s Hydrogen Energy World Business Unit.

“This voyage proves to the world that long-distance travel using hydrogen is a real possibility. Our new partnership will create greater visibility of how hydrogen is being developed and deployed today, with the view of being widely scaled up tomorrow,” said Franc.

“Energy Observer is pleased to cooperate with the Hydrogen Council, as we share the same ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition. Hydrogen is a real key to propel our vessel of the future that works through a mix of renewable energies and a system that produces carbon-free hydrogen from seawater,” said Victorien Erussard, Founder and Captain of Energy Observer.

“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,” Erussard continued.

A recent Hydrogen Council report, ‘Hydrogen, Scaling Up’, projects there could be thousands of passenger ships transporting people without carbon and local emissions by 2030. By mid-century, the council further suggests that hydrogen could power a quarter of passenger ships worldwide, contributing to roughly 20% of COabatement as required by the Paris Agreement.

Energy Observer is currently embarked upon a six-year voyage consisting of 101 stopovers around the world. This joint announcement comes as the Energy Observe is docked in Amsterdam, on its 35th stopover.