Samstag, 22.02.2020 09:11 Uhr

Key Rhine watchdog to boost green engines for barges

Verantwortlicher Autor: Jochen Raffelberg Strasbourg, 13.02.2020, 19:43 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Mixed News +++ Bericht 2180x gelesen

Strasbourg [ENA] A key inland navigation watchdog will promote the reduction of pollutants and greenhouse gases by boosting the pivotal role of electrical propulsion systems on river barges. The Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine said experts would share information in Brussels on technologies providing energy from alternative sources such as fuel cells or batteries leaving behind conventional fuel combustion.

According to the CCNR its objective of largely eliminating emissions by 2050 requires the sharing of information on which technologies were already available or under development, and existing technical, economic and organizational challenges to implementation. The workshop on 19 May brings together representatives of the Shipping Industry, Equipment Manufacturers, Energy Generators and Distributors as well as Waterway Infrastructure Operators including Cargo Transfer Terminals. The meeting was intended to identify targeted measures for supporting the energy transition and promote awareness of the fact that the inland navigation sector will in future require more electrical energy and alternative environmentally friendly energy carriers.

Reducing greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions in the transport sector is according to CCNR one of the greatest challenges for the next decade. Studies showed that around one quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU were accounted for by the transport sector, with an upward trend. “All transport modes, including inland navigation, will have to contribute to reducing emissions,” CCNR said. Ministers of its member states had reaffirmed the objective of a 35% reduction in inland navigation greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions by 2035, largely eliminating them by 2050. For inland navigation vessels CCNR anticipates that predominantly electric propulsion systems will play a pivotal role in achieving these objectives.

Batteries and alternative energy sources, such as fuel cells, for supplying these propulsion systems with electrical energy were already on trial. Both technologies required a sufficiently developed shore-based infrastructure for supplying the required energy carrier. An adequate supply required not just good infrastructure at the berth itself, for example in the form of bunkering or charging stations, but also adequate generation of environmentally friendly electrical energy or environmentally friendly energy carriers, together with an efficient transport network. The Strasburg-based CCNR is an international organization that exercises an essential regulatory role in the navigation of the Rhine.

It is active in the technical, legal, economic and environmental fields and works closely with the European Commission as well as with the other river commissions and international organizations. CCNR member states are Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The CCNR has adopted strategic guidelines on maintaining and developing its core competences for safety regulations, infrastructure, environment and social matters. CCNR also continues to support national, regional and global sustainability goals and initiatives, in particular by adopting the vision of zero emissions from inland navigation vessels by mid-century. The body also considers the cost of reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

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