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Island aims to become hydrogen tech testbed with help of yachtsman

Island aims to become hydrogen tech testbed with help of yachtsman

Thursday 02 March 2023

Island aims to become hydrogen tech testbed with help of yachtsman

Thursday 02 March 2023

The government is working with a round-the-world yachtsman from Jersey to test the use of hydrogen technology in a new partnership the Chief Minister hopes will put the island at "the forefront of the global transition to net zero".

OceansLab — led by Jersey round-the-world yachtsman Phil Sharp and Ports of Jersey — will investigate the use of hydrogen technology on port infrastructure including ferries, service vessels, and cargo ships.

Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore said: "As a small island, Jersey is highly dependent on transporting both freight and passengers through the harbour and airport.

"Jersey has committed to meeting net zero commitments in line with both the Paris Agreement and Carbon Neutral Roadmap, and we are keen to explore new options for accelerating a move to sustainable aviation and marine fuel.

"If we can learn from others and share expertise, we can be at the forefront of the global transition to net zero."


Pictured: Phil Sharp recently relaunched his bid to become the first person to complete the Vendée Globe round-the-world race in a yacht running exclusively on clean energy.

In addition, the partnership will see the government become a brand ambassador for the OceansLab race boat as it competes using zero fossils fuels, whilst emitting water as a by-product of the hydrogen fuel cell, in the IMOCA Globe Series.

CEO and skipper of OceansLab, Phil Sharp said: "The strong winds and tides offshore around Jersey provide enormous potential for Jersey to reach net zero and become more energy resilient with hydrogen, and the opportunity to take the lead as one of the first islands to do so.

"This partnership will really explore how we can apply hydrogen fuel-cell technology and green hydrogen fuels to start de-carbonising the Island’s maritime industry as well as its wider transport applications."


Pictured: The OceansLab yacht will compete using zero fossils fuels.

Meanwhile, a collaboration between airline Blue Islands and Universal Hydrogen is trialling the use of green hydrogen as an aviation fuel.

Ports of Jersey's work to trial hydrogen as a maritime fuel builds upon this collaboration within the aviation sector.

Ports of Jersey CEO, Matt Thomas said: "Our main role is to keep islanders connected with the rest of the world, and it’s our responsibility to work towards sustainable, de-carbonised travel.

"We want to be at the forefront of providing truly sustainable travel, and we have been working with Universal Hydrogen and Blue Islands to achieve this for aviation."


Pictured: Phil Sharp with the Genevos Hydrogen Power Module — a 100% zero-emission propulsion pack, running entirely on hydrogen and releasing only water and heat as by-products.

As a result of the new partnership, a new tugboat for towing, patrol and maintenance duties will be needed at the harbour.

Ports of Jersey technicians will work alongside OceansLab to test the applicability of the hydrogen fuel cell technology on a small tugboat.

Mr Thomas added: "Initially we will be exploring the possibility of powering our next tugboat with hydrogen, but this is the first step towards a zero-emissions marine industry which will ultimately benefit islanders and the planet."


Jersey sailor to attempt zero-emission round-the-world race

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