I did a review awhile back on various low carbon shipping options. Its interesting to note that the one option I didn’t consider was pure electric boats. This is largely because of the range issue. The idea of electric boats, isn’t anything new, they’ve been since the 1880’s, only falling out of fashion with the development of petrol powered outboard motors in the 1920’s.
However the Norwegians are now proposing the use of electric ferries around the country. Anyone familiar with Norway will know that ferries are a way of life for Norwegians, its the equivalent of catching a bus in some parts of the country. While long distance ferries aren’t suitable for conversion to electric, short range crossings, which make up 70% of Norway’s ferry fleet can be converted.
This is significant as Norway already has a 100% renewable electricity grid and one of the world’s largest fleets of electric cars. They’ve also been developing ground and water source heat pumps, some of them on a very large scale. So this is but another step in the direction of going from 100% renewable electricity to 100% renewable energy.