As a clean yet effective energy source, hydrogen can be used to not only power vehicles on the road and in the air, but also propel vessels on the water and deep below the surface. So far, however, attempts to design a fuel cell vessel for travelling on rivers, lakes and oceans have been few and far between. Even though no such ship has made it onto the market yet, it’s not as if the maritime industry cannot point to many years of developing alternative systems.
On Dec. 14 and 15 last year, the German federal transportation ministry, BMVI, organized its NIP year-end conference “Clean Transportation by Hydrogen and Fuel Cell” to present the successes of the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. Many project partners and politicians from across the country came to Berlin for the presentation of the results and to witness a fast and seamless transition into the next decade.
“The paperwork has been finalized.” With this statement, NOW chair Klaus Bonhoff announced that NIP 2.0 was about to be ready for implementation. During e4ships’ final conference in Hamburg on Sept. 7, 2016, he also told H2-international that the remake of the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology would still be made available this year. Parts of it have already been made public (see Germany Prepares for Technology Rollout Program and Interview with Klaus Bonhoff from NOW).
The expansion of renewable energies in the transportation sector requires new types of propulsion and energy supply systems for all means of transport, as environmental hazards can have an impact on a country’s population, especially in metropolitan areas. Transportation on inland waterways shows enormous potential for improvement because today’s propulsion systems will not be able to comply
Fuel cells are considered to be all-round talents. That is why their use in the maritime sector is being continuously tested out. Until now, however, a successful breakthrough is yet to have occurred in this field. Nonetheless, as before, a variety of companies are trying to gain a foothold in this challenging area of potential application