Will Hydrogen Power Shipping’s Shift to Renewables?

Hydrogen could fuel the way forward as the shipping industry sets a goal to shift to renewables, according to Yaskawa Environmental Energy/The Switch.

“Renewables and alternative fuels are attracting increasing interest, driven by greater environmental awareness, tighter regulations and an industry-wide need to optimize energy use and manage costs,” Asbjørn Halsebakke, Product Manager of Marine Drives, Yaskawa Environmental Energy/The Switch Norway, said.

“We’re fielding more and more enquiries about how our drive train and energy-efficient technology can be utilized to embrace new fuels. And, in those conversations, hydrogen is a recurring theme.”

Halsebakke believes that, as a carbon-neutral fuel, hydrogen could be the key to unlocking truly sustainable shipping. He noted that when produced using electricity from renewables, such as wind, solar or hydro power, it is effectively emissions-free. In its liquid form, it can be used to charge batteries for electrical propulsion via fuel cells, for example.

“There are challenges, such as bunkering and establishing infrastructure. But I believe demand will provide a powerful incentive for industry to tackle these. We expect developments to move quickly, particularly in China,” Halsebakke explained.

However, the company said flexibility is vital, therefore it is tailoring its technology to ensure that shipping can make the transition to clean energy in an easy, efficient and future-proof manner.

“Fossil fuels will remain part of the mix for the foreseeable future, but their role will diminish,” he noted.

“Batteries will flourish, particularly for short sea, while hybrid solutions will gain ground, delivering benefits across the board. But there’s no ‘one size fits all solution’, so it’s vital to remain open to new approaches, fuel mixes and technology.”

“Our revolutionary DC-Hub effectively future-proofs vessels for whatever fuel options they decide to utilise,” Halsebakke explained.

Yaskawa Environmental Energy/The Switch will be showcasing its DC-Hub, and its full range of technology, at Nor-Shipping.

Unlocking greater efficiency and environmental performance will be centre stage at Nor-Shipping 2019. Nor-Shipping 2019, taking place June 4-6, 2019 in Oslo.

The event has a reputation for showcasing future focused solutions. With around 1,000 exhibitors and over 30,000 visiting decision makers from across the globe, it’s a natural hub for those looking to tap into maritime’s next ‘big ideas’.

“Hydrogen will definitely be on the agenda, but it won’t be the only thing fuelling discussion at what is always a lively, interesting and unique global industry gathering,” Halsebakke noted.

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