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Danish Ferries Sail on Green Power

By State of Green, September 25, 2017

More and more ferries in Denmark are being rebuilt for battery operations, enabling them to be either partly or entirely powered by electricity. Both the Danish energy sector and the shipping industry welcome the development, with the Danish Energy Association and Danish Shipping strengthening their focus on electrification in order to further reduce the environmental impact of Danish ferries.

The CEO at Danish Shipping, Jacob Ullegård, anticipates that electricity will replace fossil fuels on a growing number of ferries in the coming years:

“On the ferry service between Helsingør and Helsingborg, HH Ferries will operate the world’s largest electric battery-powered ferry across Oresund. This means cleaner air for the Sundby neighbourhood of Copenhagen and less strain on the environment. This process of electrifying ferry services is one that we will see occuring in several more places in the future”.

At present, whenever a ferry is scheduled for renovation or replacement, electricity is already considered an option. An ongoing example is the premature replacement of diesel motors near the town of Faaborg, where the ferry service to Avernakø and Lyø is likely to partially powered by electricity. The same goes for harbour busses and tourist boats.

The Director of Research and Technology, Jørgen S. Christensen from Danish Energy Association estimates that the electrification of the transport sector will play an important role in the phasing out of fossil fuels up until 2050.

– Related news: Breakthroughs in Battery-Research Lead to Greater Demand

– “The price of batteries are plummeting these years, while electrification is becoming more and more green. In the first half of 2017, wind power covered nearly 45 per cent of our electricity consumption. Meanwhile, a growing amount of sustainable energy is coming from power plants and solar cells. This means that future ferries can be powered by electricity without having a bad conscience”, says Jørgen S. Christensen from Danish Energy Association, whose members from the electricity distribution sector are responsible for the grid connection of charging equipment to electric powered ferries.

The Danish ferries are an important part of Denmark’s infrastructure – and in turn, for Denmark’s social cohesion. The same goes for the grid, which makes sure that Danish citizens have access to electricity more than 99.99 per cent of the time.

– Related news: Denmark and Sweden Launch an International Bicycle Ferry

According to Jakob Ullegård from Danish Shipping, the electrification of ferries is also a growing trend globally, which opens up the potential for Danish exports and international partnerships.

In order to promote the opportunities in electric-powered ferry services, Danish Shipping and the Danish Energy Association hosted a project day on the 29th of November. The event was for Danish stakeholders interested in sharing experiences and discussing the political and economic framework for the future of electric-powered ferries.

Source: The Danish Energy Association

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