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Energy Observer Foundation combines expertise to accelerate energy transition, raises awareness among audiences everywhere about the potential of hydrogen and promotes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

  1. 1. Act for energy transition
  2. 2. Raise awareness about hydrogen technologies
  3. 3. Promote the 17 SDGs

1. Act for energy transition

Energy lies at the heart of ecological transition, our commitment and our action.

Politicians, companies, citizens, we all have a role to play in making structural modifications to production methods and energy consumption. The aim is to try to combat global warming by limiting CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, together with all other pollutants.

Energy Observer exhibition in Antwerp

Energy lies at the heart of our societies

Optimising our daily use of energy, drastically reducing fossil fuels in favour of renewable energies and changing our lifestyles to better respect our environment: such are the challenges we must now collectively take up. They will require a profound and lasting transformation of all the energy sectors, from production through to consumption.

The latest analysis from the IPCC, the report by the French Transmission System Operator (RTE) on the 2050 energy futures and the latest forecasts from the ADEME highlight the absolute necessity to accelerate this energy transition. The same is true in the maritime sector. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), 80% of the global goods traffic involves the sea. Responsible for nearly 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonisation of this expanding industry is both inevitable and essential in the bid to satisfy the 2030 and 2050 objectives set by the IMO.

Within this context, Energy Observer Foundation is taking action in several ways in its quest for energy transition, with a special focus on the maritime sector:

  • Gathering the necessary expertise to jointly identify the factors which accelerate and slow the transition towards decarbonised solutions.
  • Getting those involved working together, pooling technological knowledge and adopting practices with concrete goals, such as designing a new boat, a freighter, as a demonstrator for professional use.
  • Producing general interest studies on the latest technologies and propulsion systems in the maritime environment with the Coalition for Maritime Environmental and Eco-Energy Transition (T2EM)
  • Optimising the tools for measuring the energy consumption and performance of the Energy Observer catamaran, together with the tools for measuring the maritime pollution (water, air and noise pollution) associated with boats, as well as making this data available in a form which is accessible to boat operators, researchers and engineers.
  • Orchestrating a large-scale awareness campaign aimed at the general public by opening a museum dedicated entirely to energy in all its forms.
  • Since 2017, the Energy Observer Odyssey has served as a platform for expressing commitment and support for concrete action at the cutting edge of innovation to precipitate energy transition. The Energy Observer Foundation endowment fund intends to reinforce this action through the pursuit of research and awareness programmes.

One of the IMO’s fundamental goals is that we at least halve GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) from international maritime transport by 2050. If we take into account the increase in the global shipping fleet around 2050, in terms of individual vessels, this objective equates to a reduction of at least 80 to 85% per vessel. It’s a very high target. One of the main sources is hydrogen. To this end, I’m very happy to see how much effort has gone into developing the Energy Observer project. It will require further research and effort to apply this to larger vessels so we can finally achieve our goal by 2050”.

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization

2. Raise awareness about hydrogen technologies

Hydrogen is one of the key elements of energy transition. It plays a fundamental role in decarbonisation, notably via the intermediary of industrial and mobile applications. The focus is both environmental and economical and it lies at the heart of industrial rebirth as well as being a major factor in terms of sovereignty. Energy Observer Foundation is taking action to help develop the hydrogen society, to remove the obstacles which are slowing its growth and to guide youngsters towards the new jobs it offers for the future.

The advantages of hydrogen

Unlike fossil fuels or renewable energies, hydrogen is a secondary energy, an energy vector enabling energy to be stored and transported. It is the lightest (atomic number 1), the simplest and most abundant element in the universe.

Produced from renewable energies*, hydrogen enables:

  • the share of renewable energies in the energy mix to be increased by offsetting their intermittence
  • the energy to be distributed across all sectors and all regions facing supply difficulties today
  • various sectors of the economy (industry, transport, housing) to be decarbonised
  • the provision of a storable and renewable material

* In the world right now, 95% of the hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. The challenge: to develop clean production from water electrolysis using renewable energies. This equates to renewable hydrogen.

Energy Observer in Noumea

The hydrogen revolution

The hydrogen revolution is on everyone’s lips. It fills many column inches across various media, taking up position at the heart of post-Covid recovery plans and benefiting from significant public funding. However, a plethora of questions persist and generate as many obstacles to the development of this sector. Meantime, the indications are that in France there is a serious need to train up engineers, technicians and operators in new professional realities to develop the sector. According to an official report from France Hydrogène (April 2021), in 14 areas of expertise, 17 of the 84 professions in this sector are proving hard to fill. Training up the young generations is a significant challenge and, as a first step in providing them with guidance, there is a growing need for new places of apprenticeship.

Within this context, Energy Observer Foundation has set itself several goals:

  • To intervene in schools to create vocations and direct students towards professions in the H2 sector.
  • To intervene with students at university, engineering college or naval college to heighten their understanding of the role of H2 in the current energy transition.
  • To intervene with professionals, institutions and stakeholders involved in the sector to increase their awareness of the challenges in force across the entire hydrogen value chain.
  • To produce educational notes and tools for these audiences to raise their awareness.

Energy Observer is demonstrating that with the available innovations and technologies, it is possible to accelerate the development of ‘low carbon’ solutions to fulfil our goals in terms of climate and sustainable development. The hydrogen based on renewable energies is showing great promise within the context of decarbonisation of transport and other sectors which are hard to bring electricity to.”

Francesco La Camera, CEO of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

3. Promote the 17 SDGs

Poverty, inequalities, environmental deterioration, global warming… It is with a view to bringing the international community together around new goals and the possibility of another future that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were devised. A future which goes hand in hand with prosperity, peace, justice and sustainability.

Appointed primary French Ambassador of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the government in 2018, Victorien Erussard, Founding President of Energy Observer, champions this commitment all over the world through the Energy Observer Foundation.

A universal road map

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted in September 2015 by the UN within the context of Agenda 2030, are fundamentals. They provide a course backed up by figures, a common language and a universal agenda. Within the scope of the diplomatic mission entrusted to Victorien Erussard, we are spreading France’s message about the need to take action in relation to every aspect of ecological transition in the hope of inspiring the widest possible audience.

We also aim to fuel discussion in France and internationally about these 17 SDGS, for which the interconnection of economic, social and environmental issues no longer needs an introduction.

Too few members of the French population are familiar with these 17 SDGS and even though people are becoming increasingly familiar with them, now is a key moment for making them more visible.

Citizens will have to gradually transform or adapt their lifestyle with a positive approach, which must be supported. Companies will have to become more committed to the road map for the SDGS (production, supply…) through their CSR policies and their strategies.

As far as States, public policies and local authorities are concerned, all of them must act responsibly within their sphere of competence and at their level. Investors must make ‘impactful’ choices, whilst NGOs continue to raise awareness through advocacy.

Within this context, we’re taking action in several ways:

  • By contributing to the Energy Observer Solutions platform
  • By continuing our work to raise awareness internationally and across France using our travelling exhibitions, our educational tools and the intervention of our teams
  • By contributing to discussions with the French authorities, by participating in debates so that the 17 SDGS can be fully expressed as a road map for post-pandemic recovery.
  • By producing documentaries to familiarise the widest possible audiences with the 17 SDGS and increase their renown.