“Energy Observer” Zero-Emission Boat Showcases Sustainability

The self-sufficient boat has traveled more than 64,000 nautical miles to help educate the public.
Energy Observer
Following its travels up the East Coast, Energy Observer will voyage to Paris for the Olympic Games. Amélie Conty

Energy Observer, the first vessel of its kind, is sailing from Washington, D.C. to New York in an effort to raise awareness about solutions to fight climate change. 

The self-sufficient, zero-emission boat was a former race boat converted into an eco-friendly vessel by Frederic Dahirel and Victorien Erussard and was launched in 2017. The boat has traveled more than 64,000 nautical miles, spreading a message of sustainability along the way, and headed to the United States during the 2024 election year to motivate voters and lawmakers to prioritize the environment. 

The boat arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Feb. 27 before setting sail for Washington, D.C. Energy Observer will be docked at the Wharf Marina near the Capitol and White House to encourage lawmakers to visit the floating laboratory from March 14 through March 20 and witness climate-change solutions for a low-carbon society, especially in the marine industry. 

Energy Observer
To date, Energy Observer has cruised self-sufficiently for more than 64,000 nautical miles. Amélie Conty

The United States is the second-largest consumer and producer of energy in the world, behind China. As the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world, America plays a crucial role in global warming, project leaders said in a news release. 

“Our ship will not be able to go unnoticed by those who influence the energy future of the country,” the project said in a Facebook update.

Project organizers hail Energy Observer “as being a symbol of our awareness raising and our ambitions at the service of ecological transition.” The boat is powered by the sun, wind and water; the technology can be replicated on a larger scale, Energy Observer leaders said. 

After its stay in Washington, Energy Observer will set sail for New York City, where it will dock from April 10 through April 22. While at North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place, project organizers said they will host investors, United Nations officials and students. The New York stay will conclude on Earth Day.

After departing the Big Apple, Energy Observer will visit Boston — which project leaders call “a mecca of knowledge and training” due to its esteemed research initiatives — from May 1 through May 5 before sailing to Canada and then Paris for the Summer Olympic Games.

For those who want to follow Energy Observer’s travels, you can track the boat here.