Electrically propelled ships to become reality in 2019
Ships will also need to plug in or sail on hydrogen in the near future. At the World Port Days in Rotterdam electrically powered container ships, which will be launched in 2019 and hydrogen sailing ships from late astronaut, Wubbo Ockels, are on display these days.
In the relatively small maritime shipping and inland shipping sectors, there is a great deal of experimentation with sailing on electricity and hydrogen, which can generate electricity by using a fuel cell.
The shipping industry is working hard on the transition to less pollution. Dirty fuel oil is increasingly being replaced as a fuel by cleaner natural gas, but ships can also be powered by electricity or even hydrogen.
Experimental boat Ecolution
At the Rotterdam World Port Days, the ‘green’ sailing yacht Ecolution by the late astronaut, Wubbo Ockels, which can generate its own energy, is on display. The ship is equipped with hydrogen (H2) powered electric motors.
The Wadduurzaam foundation will finish off the ship. “This will make clear that the earth can become more sustainable through technology, without compromising on comfort”, says spokesman Rolf Schreuder.
Ockels used to put it this way: “We’ll no longer need to save on energy once the clean energy has become established everywhere and closed systems for heat exchange and reuse are in place. Living from sun, wind and biomass is perfectly possible”.
Electrically powered container ships
At the World Port Days in Rotterdam electrically powered container ships, which will be launched in 2019, are on display. These ships are 110 metres long and four 20-foot containers on the ship are equipped with a super battery (a so-called e-powerbox) to propel the ship for up to 35 hours.
“I am going to order ten of these ships as soon as there are enough charging points. These ships will sail over Dutch, Belgian and German rivers by next year”, says entrepreneur Ton Van Meegen (Port-Liner).
Also for longer distances
At the same time, Van Meegen wants to test hydrogen boats to use on longer distances for which he will receive a 7 million euro subsidy from the European Union.
“I am talking to the authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany about sufficient facilities”, he adds. “Because these e-ships no longer have an engine room, the loading space is larger and they can carry up to 270 containers”, he concludes.