Hydrogen: the new frontier of Yachting (and beyond).

Updated: Jul 23

>> 9th edition of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge.


The 3rd Round Table on Hydrogen within the 2022 Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, held at the Yacht Club de Monaco on the 8th July, aimed at reviewing and exchanging on regulations in the energy boating field with the involvement of some Monegasque and French stakeholders. The event, sponsored by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Monaco Energy Transition and the Yacht Club of Monaco, represented an important moment of gathering different knowledge. “We have created the Monaco Hydrogen Group which gathers private and public actors involved in this field to debate and propose solutions in order to take advantage of the opportunities when the time is ready”, pointed out Annabelle Jaeger-Seydoux, director of Monaco Energy Transition Mission. “The Maritime sector must play a decisive role in pushing the energy transition and reducing severely greenhouse-gas emissions to fight against climate change”, she added.

Photo >> Welcoming Speech by Annabelle Jaeger-Seydoux, director of Monaco Energy Transition Mission. © YCM Studio Borlenghi

In fact, an increasing number of energy suppliers, shipping companies and NGOs are speeding up the energy transition in the maritime sector in order to cover 6% of the global marine transport with hydrogen of natural origin within 2030. According to recent reports (T&E – Transport & Environment) the full implementation of it will increase the total demand for hydrogen up to 800 thousand tons. The European Commission, for its part, has recently required ships to move progressively to more sustainable alternative fuels (e-fuels) hydrogen-based, like e-methanol and ammonia. That is the European legislation FuelEU Maritime Regulation. In June 2022, two delegated acts were approved at European level within the RED II (Renewable Energy Directive Two) EU regulation on renewable energies. Nevertheless, the debate remains open on the feasibility to face an increase of production beyond considering infrastructures and the relative costs.

Photo >> Welcoming Speech by Florestan Fillon, Projects Officer, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. © YCM Studio Borlenghi

The production of ‘green’ hydrogen with carbon-free energy is currently a priority. Technology can make a valuable contribution together with other elements useful for the change, under the umbrella of energy efficiency, at all stages from sourcing to consumption. The use of e-fuels must not be reduced to an eco-label that washes our consciences. In order to be effective, it must be considered as a driving force to approach the nautical and transport world differently.

Florestan Fillon, Projects Officer, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, highlighted: …hydrogen will be part of our future, representing a true potential, opportunity for the storage and distribution of renewable energy, …being part of a culture of positive change.”

Photo >> Anne-Marie Perez, General Manager at Capenergies. © Maurice Abbati 2022

There are several solutions available for the shipping industry as described by Anne-Marie Perez, General Manager at Capenergies: Maritime transport produces about 2-3% of greenhouse gases worldwide, that pushes most of ship-owners to seek solutions in accordance with energy needs, safety reasons, available technologies and type of boats. The energy vectors are various, notably: compressed gaseous hydrogen, liquefied hydrogen, methane in liquid form (e-LNG or organic LNG), methanol (e- or organic), liquid ammonia (e-)”. There are currently ongoing studies on how to use these alternative resources at their best.

Photo >> Conference session with Jérémie Lagarrigue (left side), CEO at Energy Observer Developments, and Maud Augeai (right side), Development Manager France, Lhyfe. © Maurice Abbati 2022

Hydrogen technologies could make the difference. Jérémie Lagarrigue, CEO at Energy Observer Developments, underlined the necessity to build up the infrastructure needed to encourage a new economic ecosystem. “We are conceiving floating stations and hydrogen stocking, less expensive and able to connect power generators addressed to hydrogen mobility, both cars and sea vessels”.

The way to hydrogen then seems viable. As reaffirmed by Maud Augeai, Development Manager France, Lhyfe: “Hydrogen is not for tomorrow, it is something you can make available today. What is needed is to move to the stage of industrialization. Our mission is to develop the hydrogen ecosystems to encourage the synchronization that is boosting in one place production, distribution and use facilities, at the same time.”


At the financial level, the diffusion of hydrogen technology is still work in progress. There are two challenges to face today. Encourage the diffusion of molecule-based devices in industry and transport sectors by reducing the still too high costs. In medium and long term, it would be necessary to respond to the expected demand increase. Both international and local levels should be involved to overcome the lack of supplies and improve the energy footprint. These are some key points highlighted by Ivan Pavlovic, Executive director and Energy transition specialist, Natixis.

Photo >> The 3rd edition of the Round Table on Hydrogen (Yacht Club de Monaco, 8th July 2022). © Maurice Abbati 2022

The setting up of the first ‘Hubs H2’ will facilitate the procurement and therefore the dedicated funding and sponsoring. On-site production will be crucial as well, since importing hydrogen is seen as more complex to fulfil in the near future, requiring more sustainable costs and adequate systems. What the 3rd Round Table on Hydrogen has shown is that switching to hydrogen technology is possible right away. The energy crisis could accelerate the times on condition that access to this new energy source is made sustainable. ***

✒🇲🇨 By Maurice Abbati

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