Innovations for environmental and climate protection at the centre of the 12th National Maritime Conference

Europe’s largest shore-side power facility powered by green electricity at Cruise Terminal 8 in Rostock-Warnemünde went into operation on 10 May 2020 as part of the 12th National Maritime Conference. The first cruise ship to be supplied with the shore-side power was the “AIDAsol”, which was docked at the terminal.

With the help of the new shore-side power facility, cruise ships can now switch off their on-board diesel generators while in port and instead be supplied with climate-neutral green electricity. Noise, air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions can all be significantly reduced by using green shore-side power, as lay times account for up to 40 percent of cruise ships’ operating times. With a maximum output of 2 times 16 MW, the new shore-side power facility in Rostock-Warnemünde can supply up to two cruise ships simultaneously and thus deliver an amount of energy equivalent to that needed for a small town with 6,600 inhabitants. The green electricity is sourced from a regional hydroelectric power plant. The total investment costs of around 19 million euros for the shore-side power facility were financed with funds from the federal government, the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Hanseatic City of Rostock.

In order to advance the establishment of further environmentally and climate-friendly shore-side power facilities on a large scale, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) will provide a total of up to 176 million euros in financial assistance for co-financing their construction in sea and inland ports on the basis of an administrative agreement between the federal government and the federal states. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has also introduced the BordstromTech funding programme as part of the federal government’s mobility and fuels strategy, which is aimed at upgrading seagoing and inland waterway vessels to use shore-side power as well as for the parallel construction of mobile shore-side power supply systems. A first mobile shore-side power system is currently being realised by Stahlbau Nord GmbH on the Labrador pier in Bremerhaven’s Fischereihafen II with the help of BordstromTech funding.

Other federal measures in the interests of environmental and climate protection for a maritime energy transition were also the focus of the 12th National Maritime Conference, which was broadcast live from Rostock on 10 and 11 May 2021. With the German government’s economic stimulus and future package aimed at cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a historic aid package for the maritime industry was adopted in 2020 with a total financial volume of €1 billion. In addition to maritime research and development, this will also include support for the conversion to environmentally friendly propulsion systems and refuelling ships for alternative fuels. The national hydrogen strategy is of pivotal importance in energy and industrial policy for the maritime economy and the cross-sectoral sustainable transformation of the energy base. Technologies for the production and use of green hydrogen as well as hydrogen-based PtX fuels are also key technologies here. The goal: to develop Europe into a lead market for environmental and climate technologies.

In his address at the opening of the conference, Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer highlighted the importance of the “e4ships” fuel cell innovation cluster, which is funded as part of the BMVI’s National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). The cross-technology research, development, demonstration, innovation and investment support measures, which are coordinated by NOW GmbH in the field of alternative ship propulsion systems and fuels, all contribute to the long-term goal of zero-emission shipping and will be further promoted in the interests of climate protection.


Image source: AIDA