World’s first hydrogen-powered cargo ship sets sail in Paris

Flagships project. Hydrogen-powered cargo.

The vessel, owned by French shipowner Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT), will begin transporting goods along the Seine river from Paris later this year.

The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is increasing, on the way to reducing transport emissions and demonstrating the superior characteristics of hydrogen fuel cells in water-based applications.

The Flagship project received $ 5.9 million in funding in 2018 from the EU’s research and innovation program, under the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), to deploy two hydrogen vessels in France. and Norway.

Flagships as it is leading the way in demonstrating how green hydrogen powered vessels can decarbonise urban rivers, by translating technological innovations into commercial operations, making zero-emission inland vessels a reality in all European cities.

Hydrogen is leading the race to develop sustainable energy sources and reduce carbon emissions, but it is expensive to produce, consumes a lot of energy, and has carbon by-products.

Gray hydrogen from natural gas or coal constitutes 98 percent of the hydrogen currently produced and emits 830 million tons of CO2 per year, 2 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

It is an environmentally friendly alternative but more expensive is green hydrogen, as used in the CFT container. It is produced by electrolysis, an electrical current that passes through water, and wind, solar or hydroelectric energy provides the necessary electricity.

Green hydrogen was ideal for shipping and the cement industry, but not for electricity; not for heating homes and non-domestic buildings; and not for cars, where electric vehicles will always be better.

According to the research groups, green hydrogen will soon drop in price and become cheaper than natural gas in many areas.

The EU relies on hydrogen energy to achieve its net zero emissions target by 2050, particularly in the area of ​​transport, which currently accounts for around 30 percent of the EU’s total CO2 emissions.