As commented in a recent post on renewable islands, to completely decarbonize islands, it is necessary to use renewables for electricity and heating, together with the electrification of transport. (Actually, electric mobility serves as renewable storage)
By transport I mean electric mobility on land, that is vehicles, rail, buses, but also on the sea. How can we decarbonize sea transport?
No, I’m not proposing getting our hands on the oars or going back to:Let’s see how…
A first step is efficiency, by using external sails for large boats, the emissions can be reduced, together with freight costs. That’s what company Skysails is doing.
Another relatively simple efficiency measure is the shore-to-ship connections to avoid emissions in ports. Here’s a video on this tech.
Besides, the rise of Direct Current in boats is positive for energy efficiency, but also will ease including renewables and storage on the same. For an example, the Dina Star boat (another ABB system, I’m afraid…)
Moving on, a nice step further are solar boats, such as Plant Solar’s Turanor, that has already sailed around the world. Increasingly, boats will have embedded energy storage for sun and wind power, wether in hydrogen or batteries. For example, sailboats with solar panels and a wind turbine can avoid using diesel at all (without needing to row either)
The last step is not only the use of DC-renewable-driven ships for transportation but as off-shore energy harvesting platforms. What do I mean by that? I’ll explain in my next post…