Amsterdam has many canals, which means the city is home to a fair number of boats. Many of Amsterdam’s boats are electric, and the city recently launched an innovation that will provide these vessels with needed battery support.
- Skoon Energy and the Port of Amsterdam recently launched a floating battery that can support electric boats during periods of heavy demand.
- The battery is about the size of a cargo container, and it’s powered by local renewable energy sources.
- This battery is placed on a barge, which makes it easily accessible to electric boats.
Amsterdam’s floating battery can replace diesel generators as a power source for docked electric boats. (Photo: Max Dijksterhuisp/Skoon)
A floating solution
It’s expected that Amsterdam’s floating battery will help balance the city’s electricity grid. Boat usage is at its peak during April and May, since that’s Amsterdam’s prime tulip season. The current grid doesn’t offer enough capacity to meet the boats’ demand during this time. As a result, many of them run diesel generators to create power while they’re docked. These generators cause noise pollution and create harmful emissions. The floating battery will provide a power source that boats can use instead of diesel generators.
Amsterdam’s floating battery will be charged using sources that are both local and sustainable. For example, it uses power gathered from rooftop solar panels in the port area and biomass energy produced by AEB, a waste-to-energy provider.
This new floating battery complements the city’s overall effort to make its canals greener and cleaner. To combat climate change, Amsterdam has instituted new rules aimed at reducing emissions from the city’s canal boats. Amsterdam intends to make all commercial boats sailing down its canals free of fossil fuel by the year 2025. Over the longer term, the Port of Amsterdam aims to become emissions-free by 2050.
WHY THIS MATTERS
A lot of focus is placed on emissions generated by vehicle traffic on the roads. However, emissions from boats can also cause a great deal of pollution, and it’s essential for cities such as Amsterdam to address the issue.