Hybrid propulsion with batteries is changing marine propulsion for the better, and not just in the OSV sector.
Earlier this month I noted that although the market for offshore support vessels remains depressed for the time being, when it recovers, all newbuilds will have batteries. Well, maybe not absolutely all of them, but a good number of those built for more sophisticated markets.
Battery suppliers such as Plan B Energy Storage predict that most new vessels will have a battery room, with options for energy storage either integrated at the newbuild stage or added later. If not a battery room as such they may well have a containerised/modular battery pack.
As I noted here, recent months have seen further important developments in battery-based hybrid energy systems for OSVs, including a platform supply vessel in which a hybrid power system replaced a generator.
Norway’s NOx funds wants to help owners refitting vessels that are on long-term contracts with hybrid energy solutions based on batteries. It has set a deadline for of 30 June 2018 for owners who want to apply for support for PSVs engaged on term charters.
This week also saw global aluminium supplier Hydro make a significant investment in Corvus Energy, which has number of contracts for batteries for OSVs. Hydro sees energy storage and battery solutions as an increasingly important part of the future of energy systems as whole. It’s right to do so. Batteries are being fitted on all kinds of vessels, from tugs to ferries to research ships. FinFerries and Siemens talk about the hybrid ferry Elektra here.
For the time being, the batteries in hybrid energy solutions for ships are being supplied by OEMs, but given the way demand is growing I’m sure it can’t be long before one of the battery companies is snapped up by a major marine industry player.