Over 90 percent of world trade is carried across the world’s oceans by some 90,000 marine vessels. The shipping industry is responsible for a considerable proportion of the global climate change problem: More than three percent of global carbon dioxide emissions can be attributed to inland and sea-going ships.
The course to zero emission in maritime transportation is being set and defined these years. Collaborations across the maritime value chain are part of the solution and so is the inclusion of sustainable technologies. The journey towards NetZero is not a straightforward one. It requires pioneering companies that invest in demonstrations, challenging existing standards, and so setting new levels and paving for an alternative future where fuel cell technologies can be considered keys to transitions.
A prime project within this category is RiverCell. RiverCell is a demonstration project funded by the German government as part of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) and is supported by a consortium of partners. It was initiated in 2015 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. The project consortium, which is led by Meyer Werft, consists of a range of experienced partners throughout the maritime industry: DNV, HADAG, Helm Proman Methanol, Neptun Werft, Pella Sietas, Technische Universität Berlin, Viking River Technical Cruises, Advent Technologies and is part of the innovation cluster e4ships.
In RiverCell a safe practical solution for a hybrid electric energy system for inland waterway ships using fuel cells is being developed. The project aims at developing and demonstrating a safe practical solution for a hybrid electric energy system for inland waterway ships using fuel cells in confined maritime applications. A significant milestone currently has been reached with the prototype design of the marine fuel cell unit successfully passing its safety testing, and the safety assessment successfully completed with DNV, a Ship classification society.