The Port of Antwerp organizes up to 24 march at the Zaha Hadidplein ‘Watt's Next’, an interactive exhibition in the sign of green energy in the maritime world. Schools, families and other interested parties can discover all the ways in which the havenwereld contributes to a transition to the circular economy.
The showpiece of the event: the Energy Observer, a former racing boat that converted to a platform for new forms of energy. It is the first self-waterstofschip without emissions of greenhouse gases or fine particles. Hydrogen takes the ship from the sea water by means of electrolysis. In addition, it produces the ship also solar energy and wind energy.
“Hydrogen is an excellent energy carrier,” says expedition leader Jérôme Delafosse. “Combined with renewable energies, the potential is enormous. Hydrogen is inexhaustible, and it has an exceptional energy density. It gives up to 4 times more energy than coal, 3 times more than diesel and 2.5 times more than natural gas. During the combustion, there are no greenhouse gases or fine particles are free.”
The founder-captain of the Energy Observer is Victorien Erussard, a French zeilkampioen from Saint-Malo. With his team he sailed on the waterstofschip all along fourteen countries in the Mediterranean Region, the first stage in a journey around the world. From Antwerp, the Energy Observer sail around Scandinavia and through Great Britain, for an ‘Oddysee’ along the North of Europe.
“With our Odyssey, we want to meet people who innovate for the planet and show that economy and ecology go together to create solutions for tomorrow”, says Erussard.
According to Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Antwerp Port authority, it is important that the port to the public shows that it is busy with the transition. “We support the innovative initiatives related to hydrogen in the fullest and hope in the coming months, the first waterstofstation worldwide to be able to operate in our port.”