Hydrogen powered Energy Observer docks in Cape Town to celebrate youth and science

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  • After 33 days of sailing and 2,300 nautical miles covered, the laboratory vessel rounded the mythical Cape of Good Hope before reaching her final destination in South Africa: Cape Town, a mythic port for sailors, the economic heart of the country and the scene of a major African stopover for the laboratory vessel.

This was a particularly difficult journey for the crew, with four sheltered stops between Mayotte and Cape Town due to harsh weather conditions, including strong winds and heavy seas. This 80th stopover will gather a host of institutional, industrial, and academic players committed to working with Energy Observer to make the energy transition a reality accessible to all.

The laboratory vessel is docked at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront from June 12th to 20th next to her pedagogical exhibition open to the public in order to raise public awareness of the energy and ecological transition’s challenges.

For Kadri Nassiep, Executive Director of Energy at the City of Cape Town: “The City of Cape Town is a keen supporter of technology and solutions that promote a safer and more sustainable energy future. Energy Observer is a powerful platform to showcase the solutions that will hopefully power not just our seafaring vessels, but towns and cities in the future. Innovation and resilience are the cornerstones of our energy future”.

Celebrating youth and science

Industrial, institutional and academic players committed to green hydrogen and renewable energy development will be present during the laboratory vessel’s stopover. Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, will also be present during the inauguration.

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) welcomes efforts by Air Liquide and the Energy Observer initiative that aims to highlight the need to transition to a carbon free environment. As part of a national drive to create a clean, affordable and sustainable energy future for South Africa, the South African government through my Department has developed the Hydrogen Society Roadmap (HSRM) in 2021. Not only will green hydrogen valleys ensure the move away from fossil fuels, but it would create jobs, attract investment, bring development to rural provinces and support. Through the HSRM, the Department is also ensuring that hydrogen can be utilized as lever for social justice in the context of South Africa’s transition to cleaner energy sources.

Education will be honored for National Youth Day on June 16, when Mr. Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, will take part in the opening of the “Youth in Innovation” exhibition organized by Sasol, event partner of Energy Observer in Cape Town.

We are proud to support Energy Observer in its mission to promote renewable energy deployment. This partnership aligns with our commitment to sustainability and reflects our belief in the power of technology and partnerships to address climate change. By working together, we can drive positive change and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future.” Dr Thembakazi Mali, Sasol Senior Vice President for Research and Technology at Sasol.

Finally, a round table on the state of research and green hydrogen in the Southern African context will be organized on June 17 by Energy Observer and the University of Cape Town’s Energy Systems Research Group.

Practical information

  • Dates: From June 12 to 20
  • Exhibition village : Open to the public from June 12 to 18, from 10 am to 6 pm.
  • Free admission
  • Address docking vessel and village: Jetty 2, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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