Panel: Getting the propulsion mix right - Moving to zero emission by 2050
The European Union wants to be climate-neutral by 2050 according to the EU Green Dea. All companies will have to respond to this. The innovation that market-leading companies have in this area was discussed at the blue innovation dock (bid) at boot Düsseldorf in a panel moderated by Marcus Krall (Krall Media GmbH, Communications specialist/Founder).
Robert Marx (Marx Technik / BVWW / boot Düsseldorf, Managing Director / President / President), Jan Mayerhöfer (European Commission, Directorate-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), Linos Voskarides (European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheris,), Vladimir Zinchenko (Greenline Yachts, CEO & Owner) presented their solutions, the current situation and their forecasts for the future of the market.
What the speakers agreed on: The shift to sustainable propulsion options is a team effort. Customers, marinas, dealers and boat builders as well as engine manufacturers need to act together and see the big picture as the basis for change. Policy guidance and guidelines are needed before new ideas and techniques can be applied. Without certainty, innovation may be overtaken by regulation.
Furthermore, a change in the mindset of boaters is needed. According to the speakers at the forum, the industry must bring about a new way of thinking among boaters and introduce the "new way of living on a boat". The demands of buyers have already changed in recent years and the desire to rethink exists. The Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened boating regionally and in Europe. Young and digital-savvy potential buyers are also more service-oriented. This requires action from the marinas. They have to digitalise their services. Information exchanged between marinas and boaters facilitates the interaction between both. Providing information about marina capacities for charging or alternative refuelling options can help customers to plan routes more easily.
Existing policy guidelines can also be used to promote the development of marina infrastructures according to the needs of the boating industry. While most boats currently run on diesel and petrol, the discussion clearly shows that the future of boat propulsion lies in renewable energy technologies. As such, fuel cells, hybrid solutions and electric motors powered with energy produced in the marina through solar, wind or wave energy were presented. While the switch to electric motors in road transport appears to be a relatively easy solution to implement, the representatives at the blue innovation dock see some challenges for the nautical industry. Buyers currently still have to make compromises in terms of speed, range and also price. The reason for this are the currently still low production quantities. Representatives from the industry expect a change in the next few years.
The political signal was clear, a rethink is required and a focus on the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. In the next few years, the legal basis will be created to reduce emissions and an ambitious goal will be set.
Until then, customers should not be put off by the sometimes more expensive innovations. The main task of the industry, according to one result of the panel, is to keep customers on the water. On the one hand, this means building boats, fuels and engines that promote sustainability and are environmentally friendly, and on the other hand, converting boats that have already left the yards. Technological approaches can vary depending on the customer, the type and frequency of use of a boat and the area in which it is used. What does the customer really need? This is the question the industry needs to answer in order to develop an individual optimal solution.
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