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Global opportunity explorer

Global Opportunity Explorer2019 Insights

A celebration of on-going activities on the Global Opportunity Explorer


The world’s first high-speed, hydrogen-powered ferry will be built in the San Francisco Bay area and will be financed by the state’s cap-and-trade emissions reduction scheme. 

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and using it as a fuel to generate energy is one of the cleanest and most versatile power generation methods available. Hydrogenics works to develop the technology and implement it across the world. Working with Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine, they are creating the ‘Water-Go-Round’ – a 70-foot aluminum catamaran designed by Incat Crowther and built by Bay Ship and Yacht, with a top speed of 22-knots and capacity of 84 passengers.

The project was awarded $3 million in funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), that comes from California’s state-wide cap-and-trade programme, working to reduce emissions and strengthen the economy throughout the state. There will also be a three month monitoring study following the vessel’s launch. Data gathered by Sandia National Laboratories will be analysed to assess the suitability of the technology for further marine use.

Why you should care

It is estimated that maritime pollution is a $330 billion problem globally. The project intends to prove that businesses with an elevated environmental consciousness can create viable, cost-effective solutions to mitigate climate change.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Sustainable cities and communities
With zero-emission hydrogen ferries transporting people around the Bay Area, Californians are moving towards more sustainable transport options.

Climate action
Maritime shipping contributes 2-3% of annual carbon dioxide emissions. The Californian ferry hopes to show a way for the industry to significantly cut their emissions

Life below water
The marine nature of the Bay Area will benefit from the reduced noise and water pollution of the hydrogen-powered vessel.