Three federal government funding guidelines for climate-friendly maritime systems result in a measurable contribution to climate, environmental and health protection.

Through the funding support for alternative technologies, German shipping is expected to save around 130,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas equivalents per year in the future – which would be equivalent to the average emissions of some 50,000 passenger cars. Together with the air pollutants that will also be eliminated, monetised environmental impacts totalling more than 300 million euros will already be avoided within the first five years after commissioning.

As part of its scientific and technical monitoring of selected maritime funding programmes of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV – Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr) and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK – Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz), NOW has published an analysis that substantiates these figures. The cost-benefit analysis shows how much savings potential can be expected from individual funding programmes. It puts this potential in relation to the assumed monetarised environmental costs – based on the methodological convention of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA – Umweltbundesamt) – that were to be expected without the savings.

The approved funding support as well as the emission effects of the projects were evaluated within the framework of the following selected funding guidelines, which were coordinated by NOW GmbH in terms of their technical content:

  • BMDV guideline on funding support for the expansion and conversion of seagoing vessels for the use of LNG as a marine fuel (LNG Seagoing Vessel Guideline): It was in force between 2017 and 2021 with three funding calls. A total of 19 projects are funded, with funding amounting to approximately 59.7 million euros.
  • BMDV guideline on funding for the market activation of alternative technologies for environmentally friendly on-board power and mobile shoreside power supply for seagoing and inland vessels (BordstromTech guideline): A total of 21 projects with a funding volume of approx. 8.9 million euros were approved here in the period between 2021 and 2022. The amended guideline is still open for funding applications until 30 June 2024.
  • BMWK guideline on funding for the construction of refuelling ships for LNG and sustainable renewable fuel alternatives in shipping (refuelling ship guideline): With the call for funding in 2021 under the Refuelling Vessel Guideline (Betankungsschiff-Richtlinie), three projects with a total funding volume of approx. 62.4 million euros have been approved. The procurement of the three bunker ships is currently being implemented.

The implemented projects from the funding programmes each prevent a certain amount of climate-damaging greenhouse gases as well as air pollutant emissions that are harmful to the environment and to human health. This results in quantifiable contributions to climate, environmental and health protection, which add up to more than 300 million euros over the first five years after commissioning. This exceeds the federal funding for these funding programmes totalling 131 million euros many times over. Since the funding assets have technical lifetimes of more than 20 years and renewable fuels will increasingly be used for them in the future, the savings and the cost-benefit factor is likely to ultimately be even higher.

Background information (in German) on the calculation, data and diagrams can be found in the NOW Data Finder.