A team of naval architects, in partnership with the CEA-Liten research institute in France, are developing a new boat, Energy Observer, which is powered solely by renewable energies and hydrogen.
Begin built in a shipyard at Saint-Malo on France’s west coast, the new multi-hulled catamaran is due to be installed with solar panels, wind turbines and electrolysis equipment.
The equipments are used to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen, which are its component elements.
The Energy Observer, which is also known as "Solar Impulse of the Seas", is scheduled to commence world trip in February 2017.
Project partner Frenchman Victorien Erussard was reported by Agence France-Presse as saying: "We are going to be the first boat with an autonomous means of producing hydrogen.
"If there’s no Sun or wind, or if it’s night, stored hydrogen – generated by electrolysis powered by the solar panels and two wind turbines – will take over.”
The €4.2m green energy boat is said to be a waterborne version of the Solar Impulse plane, which completed its round-the-globe trip using solar energy.
Voyage director and co-captain Jerome Delafosse was reported by Tribune de Genève as saying: "Hydrogen is not a fuel but a way of storing energy.
"Instead of batteries, we fill high-pressure hydrogen tanks and the hydrogen can power our fuel cell and generate electricity."
Featuring sensors to act as veritable moving laboratory for CEA-Liten, the boat is estimated to complete its voyage in approximately six years.