We know that air pollution is cutting short people’s lives and causing health problems, that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet and drastically changing our ecosystems, and we know that the emissions from the world’s maritime fleet is a major contributing factor in all of this. We also know how to solve this problem. We have the solution to bring maritime emissions to Zero. Our mission is to partner with you to bring the benefits of zero emission hydrogen fuel cell technology to your business and the planet. Let’s get this done together.


“Joe, you don’t understand. I don’t want to reduce pollution, I want zero pollution.” It’s not often you can point to a single phrase as the origin of a company. But with these words, the concept of Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine was born.

I was at my desk at Sandia National Labs, speaking on the phone with Mr. Thomas C. Escher, President of the Red and White Fleet. He had contacted the US Department of Energy (my boss) and requested someone to help him figure out how to use hydrogen fuel cell technology in his vessels. Tom was fed up with the pollution caused by so-called “clean” diesel engines and all of their resulting health problems, premature deaths, and climate destruction. I was the only person in a DOE lab working on hydrogen and fuel cells for maritime applications, so that’s how I got on the line with him.

Frankly, I was skeptical. I had worked with hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles, forklifts, power generators, even for power on board airplanes. But pushing a 350-ton passenger vessel through the water? That seemed like too much of a stretch. “These days a lot of maritime companies are looking at LNG as a way to get cleaner,” I was saying. And that’s when Tom cut me off with the sentence that launched a revolution. After talking with Tom that day, I spent the next three-plus years at Sandia working on projects involving hydrogen fuel cells for maritime use.

The first was the landmark “SF-BREEZE” study, where we examined whether or not it was feasible to build and operate a 35-knot passenger ferry that could travel at least 100 nm between refueling. Following that we examined five other passenger vessel configurations in detail, including a water taxi, large and small car ferries, a sightseeing boat, and a larger but slower version of the SF-BREEZE.  The objective switched from determining feasibility, to optimization for lowest cost and total fuel lifecycle emissions, and the study showed how we could reduce cost by nearly 10x compared to the SF-BREEZE.  Another study continued our cooperative relationship with the US Coast Guard and took a deep-dive into the physics of hydrogen on-board vessels and how to ensure that developing regulations ensure hydrogen can be handled as safely on the water as it is on land. Finally, we completed a case study of 14 widely-different vessel classes, from small fishing boats to the largest containerships and concluded that all of them can be practically powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Tired of studies?  Me too. And so was Tom: “We can study this thing to death.  We know it’s possible. We’ve got to build one and prove it.” I’m no longer skeptical about our ability to change the status quo. We know zero emission maritime power is possible, we know exactly how to do it, and we know there is a large demand in the marketplace.  We also know we need to do something drastic about the pollution building up in our atmosphere. The benefits are too great, the imperative too strong.  This is going to happen and we can either lead it or be left in the dust. We choose to lead, and we welcome you to join us.