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A New Energy Source Floats In the Vicinity of the Yacht Club at Port Hercule

In a groundbreaking ceremony attended by dignitaries and officials, the Yacht Club de Monaco revealed a cutting-edge addition to Port Hercule: a floating pontoon equipped with a hydrogen generator. This innovative installation, adorned with solar panels, is set to make waves during the upcoming 11th Energy Boat Challenge from July 1st to July 6th.

The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, this year taking place from 1 to 6 July 2024, is a race with an ambitious finishing line: not just getting there first, but utilising alternative propulsion systems that reduce environmental impact. These could be solar energy, hydrogen, electricity and other renewable energy sources. The competition, which will see the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, has attracted 46 teams from 25 countries, with 31 universities involved.

The sight of this newly floated avant-garde pontoon is sure to turn heads along Quai Louis-II in the weeks ahead. With its unique design and renewable energy source, this prototype marks a bold departure from the conventional vessels typically seen in Monegasque waters. This isn’t the pontoon’s maiden voyage; it previously graced Port Hercule last summer during the tenth Monaco Energy Boat Challenge.

Developed by SBM Offshore, the green hydrogen generator harnesses solar energy to power its operations. The aim was to be self-sufficient in hydrogen for the Boat Challenge including having a supply for competing boats.

Reportedly, from producing less than 2kg last year, the pontoon is set to generate more than three times this amount in 2024, which should be enough to fill 30 cylinders at the right pressure. 

All this visible Hi-Tech floating on the pontoon reportedly produces about a litre of green hydrogen a minute and will take a couple of months, give or take, to fill the 30 cylinders. And that should be enough for the seven or eight crews depending on it. 

This is all a development project, far from producing green hydrogen as a scaled-up business. But it does provide SBM Offshore engineers with an opportunity to explore new territories and push boundaries.

So the role of the Yacht Club de Monaco in embracing the pontoon is a means to advocate for industry evolution and innovation. Someone has got to step up to the plate and showcase the potential for decarbonization and the imperative for yachting to evolve.

Indeed, as the Energy Boat Challenge continues to inspire future engineers and entrepreneurs, it serves as a beacon of hope for a more sustainable maritime industry. With each innovative endeavor, the path toward a greener, cleaner future becomes clearer, proving that change is not only necessary but entirely achievable.

Yacht Club de Monaco Recycling Initiatives

The Yacht Club de Monaco is also demonstrating its dedication to sustainability through its innovative water recycling initiatives. Instead of relying on drinking water, the club now utilizes a closed circuit system to fill its swimming pool, resulting in the treatment of over one million liters of water. A similar approach is applied to boat cleaning, further exemplifying the club’s commitment to environmental stewardship. These endeavours serve as tangible evidence of the YCM’s successful environmental policy, designed to raise awareness about the environmental consequences of individual choices.

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