Every hero has an extraordinary story - this is that of Phil Sharp, CTO & Co-founder of Genevos, who has been working in the hydrogen field since 2015.
I’m a trained mechanical engineer, specialised in composite materials. I’ve worked in the wind turbine sector, but more than anything I was a solo ocean racing skipper before becoming involved with hydrogen.
The desire to sail without emitting CO2. My journey to zero emissions started in 2005 when I took part in the Mini Transat solo sailing race from France to Brazil (the “Mini” is a 21-foot racing yacht). A few days before the start, the generator which supplies electricity to the entire boat broke down. I had to quickly find a reliable and sustainable solution. I decided to install solar panels that I rigged up on mops from Leroy Merlin! I finished fourth out of 84 participants and mine was the only boat to have sailed the 4,000 nautical miles without using fossil fuels. It was an extremely enriching experience! Further down the line, our team launched a zero-emissions project called OceansLab, with the solo, non-stop round-the-world race the 2024 Vendée Globe as the culminating point. Hydrogen was the solution because batteries were too large and too heavy. And so we began developing a hydrogen power module. And, in fact, during the design of the hydrogen-electric energy system, we saw that there was no loss of performance compared with conventional fossil fuel generators.In 2024, we want to be the first racing boat to finish the Vendée Globe without fossil fuels on board. It will be a significant demonstration of the capabilities of hydrogen technology and, above all, this new practice could be replicated to help us collectively win the race against carbon.
I would really like for us to quickly leave the combustion engine paradigm. We have realised that the maritime industry is way behind in terms of energy transition compared to other fields and yet it represents 3% of [global] greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than aviation!
Of course hydrogen has a bright future ahead of it, even though several solutions will be involved in achieving our zero-emissions targets. In fact, I would even say that hydrogen is not the future but the present – if we want to start to act today, hydrogen really is the answer.
To truly support our clients in their energy transition, Genevos offers an end-to-end service. As well as supplying a hydrogen fuel cell that is marine-certified to offshore and commercial standards, we also offer engineering services, including design, optimisation of total cost of ownership (TCO) or of weight, energy management and the technical design of gas-powered ships.
I would change all fossil fuel filling stations to hydrogen stations!