Towards the implementation of Bunkering Infrastructure for New Energy Carriers for Inland Navigation in The Netherlands
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To reach the goals set in the Climate Agreement (Klimaatakkoord), many industrial sectors must take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The transition to a more sustainable Netherlands has gained momentum, with logistics and mobility as one of the key components. An important role is reserved for the inland navigation (i.e., inland shipping) sector within the logistics and mobility sector, as it is responsible for 43% of the total transport performance. For the inland navigation sector, the ambitions are to have at least 150 vessels with a zero-emission power train in 2030 and to have a virtually zero-emission and climate-neutral inland fleet by 2050. However, the process of making the inland navigation sector sustainable is still in an early stage and consists mostly of pilot projects. To shape the transition to sustainable mobility, more insights are needed into which bunkering infrastructure is required. The aim of the research is to generate a techno-economic framework that can be used to determine whether bunkering and charging infrastructure for new energy carriers (i.e., hydrogen, methanol and electricity) is feasible from an economic and technical point of view in the inland navigation sector. The techno-economic framework consists of a supply chain analysis of the different energy carriers and a cost model simulation of different scenarios by 2030. Additionally, interviews with experts and stakeholders provide insights into which bunkering infrastructure components are applicable in the Netherlands by 2030. The equivalent annual cost, capital investment, demand of an energy carrier, spatial requirements and cost of energy service for different bunkering infrastructure business cases have been calculated by the model. The demand is based on the ambition of having 150 sustainable vessels by 2030. To facilitate a bunkering infrastructure for 150 vessels with a zero-emission power train, the implementation of a bunkering infrastructure for battery electric containers with small charging facilities would be overall the best option. In the short-term, a bunkering infrastructure for methanol could be implemented as the investment is relatively small. Methanol has better use as a transitional energy carrier. Much depends on external factors such as competition of other sustainable energy carriers. Besides the technological and economic parameters, an equal consensus among vessel owners, investors and energy carrier suppliers to invest and use such bunkering infrastructure.