German Greens MEP Michael Cramer has welcomed news that the world's first hydrogen-fuelled ship has come a step closer.
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, the German Greens deputy said the shipping industry had a responsibility to help meet the EU's greenhouse gas-reduction targets, with Seagoing vessels accounting for three per cent of all CO2 emissions in the EU.
Cramer was speaking at the presentation of "project zero", an initiative designed to develop the first ship generating zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Scandlines, the Danish-German ferry company, plans to develop a ferry servicing a short, 100km route between the two countries, which would be powered by wind.
The company's CEO Soren Jensen told the meeting that, under the scheme, electricity is generated from unused night-time power from wind farms.
The electricity, he said, is used to make hydrogen which is then stored in tanks. This distributes power to drive the propellers and run the facilities on board the ship.
Jensen said that if the electricity was not used in this way "it would be wasted".
"This is a quantum leap, but it is not based on alien technology," he declared.
He said the company was ready to invest up to €500m in the project which Jensen believes can benefit both the maritime industry and passengers.
The meeting heard the initiative could qualify for as much as €250m - half the expense of the development costs - in EU funding from the European investment bank.
This was welcomed by Cramer who pointed out that the transport sector is responsible for 25 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and is the only sector that has seen an increase in CO2 emissions since 1990, with its emissions growing almost 30 per cent in that time.
Cramer said, "In order to change this situation, emissions must be cut, including in the maritime sector."
"Stricter emission rules are part of the solution and benefit both the environment and the public."
He said the "project zero" scheme for a hydrogen-fuelled zero emissions ferry was one example of "clean technology".
For more read Marine Electric Vehicles 2012-2022.
Source: The Parliament