At the end of May, 50 representatives from economy, research and local communities gathered in Berlin-Grünau on the Pier36eins – stopping point of the “Weiße Flotte” electric ferry – to discuss technical and economic solutions for low-emission shipping. Also the country MV was represented by the economic and the energy ministry. The event was organized by the WFG Vorpommern as part of the EU-funded project “ELMAR – Supporting South Baltic SMEs to enter the international supply chain & sales markets for boats and ships with electric propulsion”.
Topics included the development of electromobility and funding opportunities in Germany, the current status of the use of alternative propulsion systems on the water, as well as field reports from the perspective of the shipping company Weiße Flotte, the shipbuilding company Ostseestaal and the shipbuilding company Neptun Ship Design. The field reports clearly show that investing in electric boats pays off. Although the investment costs are higher, but the energy consumption is much lower. In addition, there are significant potential savings through lower maintenance costs. The CO2 savings are available through emission-free operation for free.
Why then does not marine electromobility simply prevail? Mr. Arndt of Neptun Ship Design pointed out that there are two different speeds in the development of electric boats. At the same time, the technology-driven pioneer companies set the pace at first, with concept planning geared solely to technical and economic constraints. To enforce the technology, however, planning security is needed.
The participants agreed that the change can not be brought about by the companies alone, but that framework goals have to be set through community, urban and state planning. These include public transport law, adapted tendering guidelines and ferry licenses as well as the definition of target scenarios and the creation of suitable financing instruments. Municipal carriers would have to be the drivers to accelerate the second speed and pave the way for technology implementation. Other countries like Holland and Norway show it. They have set themselves the ambitious goal of being fully electrically converted by 2020. Enough planning security for companies to invest in marine electromobility.
Speakers of the Dialogue Forum:
- NOW – National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology
- Humphry Marine GmbH
- Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology
- Weiße Flotte GmbH
- Ostseestaal GmbH & Co. KG
- Neptune Ship Design GmbH
Foto/Photo: Elektrofähre “FährBär” der Weißen Flotte am Pier36eins/ Electric ferry “FährBär” of the Weiße Flotte at Pier36eins (WFG)