The mission

An Odyssey for the Future
on board the first hydrogen vessel around the world

Our vision of the future consists in drawing our energy from nature, without damaging it, and without wasting it. This is the vision we wish to share throughout the planet with our innovative project.

To do so, the team has taken on both a human and technological challenge with Energy Observer: the first self-sufficient energy vessel with zero greenhouse gas or fine particule emissions that is powered by hydrogen and renewable energies, thanks to energy coupling.

At sea, onboard Energy Observer, we need as much sun as wind, batteries or hydrogen. The situation is similar on land. Energies and storage systems complement one another, and we have to learn how to make them work together: there isn’t a unique solution to climate change, but rather plenty of possibilities.

Victorien Erussard,
Founder and Captain of Energy Observer

Odyssey for the Future

Energy Observer it’s also an odyssey around the world on the search for innovative solutions for the environment. 6 years, 50 countries, and 101 stopovers, to go and meet people who are designing tomorrow's future, and to prove that a cleaner world is possible.

More than a vessel, Energy Observer is a media platform providing positive and inspiring content in favor of innovative solutions.

The ecological transition needs to be seen as a promise for a better world. Through this exclusive Odyssey, we want to make people dream, to raise awareness, to prove that humans can live in harmony with nature and that the fight against global warming can open some doors to a new economic expansion.

Jérôme Delafosse,
Expedition leader of Energy Observer

The Odyssey

6 years, 50 countries, and 101 ports of call around the world
the odyssey has begun

10326 nautical miles covered
14 visited countries

33 stopovers made

Find out more

The vessel

Energy Observer is the first hydrogen vessel, aiming for the energy autonomy, with zero greenhouse gas emissions or fine particles. This former race boat, an outstanding competitor has been fully transformed into a vessel of the future, powered by electric propulsion thanks to a mix of renewable energies and a hydrogen production system that produces carbon-free hydrogen on board using seawater.

130 m2 of photovoltaic panels combining 3 different technologies: conformable, bifacial, and with a non-slip coating
2 vertical axis wind turbines, on a mobile support, for power production
A seawater desalination system produced by reverse osmosis with two story
105 L/h
Development of a routing software, to optimise the route plan by incorporating the parameters related to sailing conditions (waves, wind, currents...) but also to optimise the production of energy on board (sunshine, cloud cover, hydrogen levels, remaining distance...)
On board and remote real-time tracking of the performance, management, and optimisation of our energy flows
For the compression of hydrogen from 30 to 350 bars in tanks
Automated kite intended to increase the speed of the boat and to reduce its energy costs, but also to convert the electric motors into hydrogenerators
To break down the H2O molecule into oxygen (O2) and dihydrogen (H2). While the oxygen will be released into the atmosphere, the hydrogen will be stored in gaseous form in order to conserve the excess energy
4 Nm3/h at 30 bars
Hydrogen tanks for long-term energy storage
2 x 4 322L tanks, or 62kg of H2
To generate electricity from the stored hydrogen which acts as a range extender for the vessel, coupled with an absorption machine for air-conditioning
22 KW
Li-ion batteries for short-term energy storage and power demands’ management of 106 Kwh for the motorisation, electrolysis, compression, and 220V and 24V power
2 electric motors with very high efficiency rates (97%), reversible in hydrogenerators when kite sailing at 2 x 41 KW at 3000 rpm in propulsion mode and 2 x 2, 5 KW in hydrogeneration mode

Download the Energy Observer mobile application to discover the boat in Augmented Reality!



Faced with the pressing need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the development of renewable energies is the clear path forward. However, these energies are by nature variable and intermittent, and therefore require the development and optimisation of energy storage methods.

Among them, hydrogen (H), the most abundant chemical element in the universe, demonstrates a little more every day its immense potential as an energy vector capable of recovering renewable energies.
The issue of the 21st century: learning how to produce it inexpensively and in a carbon-free manner. It is within this research and development context that the Energy Observer project fits in: to prove the performance of this new energy model and thus serve as an example throughout the world.

The Team

  • The leaders of the expedition

    Victorien Erussard
    Energy Observer Captain

    Jérôme Delafosse
    Energy Observer Expedition leader
    Find out more
  • Energy Observer Team

    Spread across France, it's a team of close to 50 individuals that are currently working on the Energy Observer Project. Navigators, naval architects, engineers, designers, start-ups, all share their expertise and commitment towards innovation for the planet. Find out more
  • Our Ambassadors

    Florence Lambert
    Ambassador and CEO of CEA-Liten

    Nicolas Hulot
    Ambassador and French Minister for The Ecological and Inclusive Transition
    Find out more

Our partners

We have committed and motivated partners, who wish to change the rules of the game in regards to internal and external energy transition.
For this, our goal is to build concrete and sustainable relationships with each one of them, in order to create added value and to give meaning to our actions.
Our vision of partnership is, above all, human and based on shared requirements of trust, transparency, and integrity.

Join us on board

Energy Observer continues to seek financial, institutional, media, and scientific partners.

Contact us   Media contact

1. The Mission


2017 - 2022
An Odyssey for the Future on board the first hydrogen vessel around the world

Our mission

  • 01

    To test, experience, and optimise the embarked technologies in extreme environments in order to later enable their implementation on land.

  • 02

    To locate sustainable solutions, and to participate in their deployment.

  • 03

    To prove to the general public, local communities, and businesses that energy transition is possible.

Energy Observer is the first vessel in the world able to produce its own hydrogen on board, from sea water, without greenhouse gas and particles emissions thanks to a mix of renewable energies. A human and technological challenge, to prove that the ecological transition is possible.

Testing these technologies outside of laboratories...

More than a vessel, Energy Observer will be the laboratory of the energies for a clean future, tested in extreme conditions. Demonstrating the efficiency and performance of our complete hydrogen chain in hostile marine environments, will all the more validate its application on land, and allow its development on other large scale applications; maritime or terrestrial, mobile or stationary.

A XXI century Calypso, at the service of solutions

While most of the great historical expeditions aimed at conquering the territories and appropriating their richness, Energy Observer carries out an expedition of a new kind: leaving to discover people and share knowledge.

Six years, 50 countries, 101 ports of call, in order to raise awareness among the general public on the major themes of ecological transition, including renewable energies, biodiversity, mobility and the circular economy, starting from meeting the pioneers of tomorrow's world.

An Odyssey to connect solutions to problems, value rather than denounce, encourage instead of guilt, thanks to the production of a documentary series of 8 episodes, whose season 1 will be broadcast on Planète+ in 2018.


Prove that ecological transition is possible

Energy Observer's educational mission is to raise awareness of one of the major challenges of the 21st century: combating global warming.

General public, schools, heads of state and government, representatives of local authorities, media, companies, public figures... In our itinerant village all around the world, through the production of documentary content, and on board Energy Observer, we want to educate and above all bring together a community committed to the Planet.


Follow the project's latest news

Follow the evolution of the project and the latest news, by signing up for our newsletter, and following us on social media.

3. The Vessel


The vessel

Built in Canada in 1983 by the naval architect Nigel Irens, under the supervision of the navigator Mike Birth, it is a maxi catamaran which has left its mark on the evolution of multi-hull boats. Originally 24.38 meters long, it has been lengthened four times and today measures 30.5 meters long by 12.80 meters wide.

A legendary boat, transformed into a vessel of the future

After an outstanding racing career under the names of Formule TAG, Tag Heuer, Enza New Zealand, Royal & SunAlliance, Team Legato, or Daedalus, this legendary boat has a new life today under the name of Energy Observer, and is paving a new way, the one of sailing autonomously powered by hydrogen.
Now equipped with a revolutionary energy architecture, Energy Observer is the first vessel in the world, able to produce its hydrogen from seawater, thanks to renewable energies. More than a boat, Energy Observer is a model for energy networks of the future: digitized, decarbonized and decentralized.
A veritable, experimental laboratory with a goal of energy autonomy, each component of this model is tested and optimized under extreme conditions, in order to be able to eventually allow its application in a terrestrial environment.

Living Spaces


Technical areas


4. Hydrogen



  • It contains up to 3 times more energy per unit mass than diesel, and 2.5 times more than natural gas.
  • It is the lightest and most abundant chemical element in the universe.
  • Its combustion rejects neither CO2, nor fine particles.
  • While nearly 1.2 billion people in the world still live without access to electricity, the traditional economic and logistical model of electric networks rarely meets the real needs. Hydrogen is storable, and therefore can be used to extend energy beyond these traditional distribution networks, thus permitting autonomy.


On Earth, hydrogen rarely exists in its pure state, and is usually combined with other elements. To obtain hydrogen, an extraction process involving energy consumption is therefore required. Currently, 95% of the hydrogen produced industrially is produced from fossil fuels. That is the reason why large-scale deployment for industrial and individual usage still requires research and development efforts. Moreover, hydrogen is a gas which occupies an important volume under standard pressure conditions. To efficiently store and transport it, we need to reduce its volume. It is therefore essential to develop technologies that allow its compression and production in a decarbonised manner and at a lower cost in order to make it an energy vector of the future.

It is within this research and development context that the Energy Observer project fits in. Our laboratory for future energies will have the following missions:

  • to prove hydrogen's performance
  • to promote our model as an alternative to fossil fuels
  • to demonstrate that energy independence is possible
  • to allow for the collected data to be used for mobile or stationary uses

5. The Team


The leaders of the expedition



  • 10 years as on offshore racer
  • 1 Route du Rhum
  • 4 Transat Jacques Vabre
  • 3 podiums over 6 transatlantic races
  • 3 F-18 French championships titles
  • 1 Transat Quebec-Saint-Malo… without rudder
  • 1 year expedition in the south pole

Victorien was born in Saint-Malo, the year after the first Route du Rhum. 26 years later, he was on the starting line of the legendary race aboard the trimaran Laiterie de Saint Malo. It was his very first solo ocean race, aboard an old 60 feet trimaran that he had updated himself with great willpower and a grinder…

Although he had never spent a single night at sea before this crossing, he finished on the podium.
In parallel to building a track record which pushed him among the elites of his field, Victorien deepened his knowledge of the sea by pursuing his studies as a multitask officer in the merchant navy. In 2007, he raced in his first Transat Jacques Vabre, alongside Frédéric Dahirel, sixteen years his elder, and finished second.

Starting in 2011, Victorien decided to use his competitive appetite towards the fight against multiple sclerosis. For that project, he built from scratch the “Défi Voile Solidaires en Peloton” in favor of the ARSEP foundation with his friend Thibaut Vauchel-Camus. This adventure led them to the Class40 championship title and to a fourth place in his fourth Transat Jacques Vabre in 2015.

His desire to serve a cause finally prevailed over the thrill of the competition. Hence the reason he agreed in 2013 to join Frédéric Dahirel in the construction of a solar-powered catamaran, that become, thanks to a perfect blend of spontaneity and experience, the first experimental and self-sufficient energy vessel powered by a complete hydrogen production chain coupled to renewable energies.

“Victorien has the freshness and spontaneity of a teenager, combined with the insight of a man of experience. What surprised me, the first time I met him, was that he didn’t seem to fear anything.”

Nicolas Hulot



  • 23 years of ocean exploration
  • 20 000 hours under
  • 10 years of broadcasting on Canal+
  • 1 sunken palace of Cleopatra discov
  • 800 dives with the sharks
  • 2 novels and 500 000 copies sold

Everything starts in Saint-Malo for Jérôme. Hours spent sailing, diving, and mostly learning from the great adventurers, explorers, and privateers. At twelve he discovers the documentaries of Cousteau’s team… this is a revelation. Jerôme decides that when he grows up, he will also explore the oceans just like his heroes.
Professional diver, press and expedition photographer, documentary filmmaker, and author of novels sold worldwide. In 2006, he becomes one of the iconic figures of Les Nouveaux Explorateurs, on Canal+ and Travel Channel, a show in which he travels to legendary oceans and rivers, and meets up with water people in order to discover different cultures and raise public awareness in regard to environmental matters.
After making his childhood dream come true, Jérôme wants to become a fullfledged activist in raising awareness to the necessity of protecting the ocean’s natural and human heritage. Travelling the planet, contributing to its protection, and proposing optimistic and concrete solutions, here lies his new challenge.

5. The Team


The Energy Observer Team

Close to 50 people have been actively working, since 2013, on reconditioning and transforming the legendary boat into a vessel of the future. Spread across France these navigators, naval architects, engineers, designers, and communicators are all passionate and fully committed.

5. The Team


Our Ambassadors

One man, one woman: one used to the media spotlight, the other to the more private environment offered by laboratory work but both equally committed to Energy Observer and offering both a media and scientific legitimacy to the project.

Today, energy is experiencing a true revolution by integrating an increasingy number of renewable energies with different vectors: electricity, heat, and hydrogen. There are real technical challenges in connecting these fluxes, and it is even more ambitious to try this on a vessel. Therefore, Energy Observer is a foreshadowing of tomorrow's energy networks on earth.

Florence Lambert

Energy Observer is more than just a boat; it is a demonstrator and collector of solutions. It designs a future that has already begun. A long-term and evolving project that wishes to create a wave of positive energies

Nicolas Hulot

2. The Odyssey




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Photograph Credits

© copyright photo library Energy Observer -
Photos : Patrick AVAVIAN, Leah BALL, Jérémy BIDON, Kadeg BOUCHER, Pierrick CONTIN, Amadea KOSTRZEWA

Presentation Film Credits

Images: Jeremie ELOY, Romain FROGÉ /Wanaii Films, Jean Charles GRANJON/Bonne Pioche, Julien VOIGT, Guillaume LE CORRE
3D images: Kadeg BOUCHER et Quentin CHICHE
Editing: Delphine COHEN
Art Direction and Graphic Design: Cokau lab
Visual Identity: Studio Be-Poles
Music: Demusmaker
Sound mixing: Rodolphe GERVAIS/Studio du faune
Director: Jérôme DELAFOSSE

Website Credits

Design and development: DOUNY

Visual Identity Credits

Visual Identity: Studio Be-Poles




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