Norway has the world’s most electric maritime sector, but we need to speed up the electrification of shipping even more, says William Braathen, CCO in Hagal.
Fossil fuel sources, such as oil, coal and gas, account for around three quarters of the world’s energy consumption, and global warming has led “everyone” to “frantically” realize that the switch to renewable energy needs to happen at a faster pace.
– The challenge is that it is necessary to have a three times higher conversion speed than today. We will not achieve the climate goals quickly enough, but Hagal has the technology to electrify parts of the maritime industry even faster, says Braathen.
A challenge with the electrification of cars, boats and ships is that in the near future there will be a shortage of electricity in the power grid. This is where battery storage solutions are needed.
– The maritime sector has a huge need for energy and that is why we are investing in large batteries, including containers, with new, degraded and reused battery cells. These batteries can store large amounts of energy and the land-based installations are used as equalization buffers at the edges of the power grid, Braathen explains.
Great potential for emission reduction
With the acquisition of Norwegian Ocean Power and their battery solutions, Hagal Ocean is well equipped to help the less power-weight sensitive applications of the maritime sector with the transition to more sustainable energy sources. With high performance and safety, Hagal´s DNV certified solutions are challenging traditional alternatives, making battery technology the first choice.
– Ocean is one of the sectors where the potential for emission reduction has great potential in the short run. We have a large maritime sector that needs electrification, and Hagal can play an important role for the industry to be able to reach the emission targets, says Braathen.
Fully electric or hybrid
He says that both small and large boats will be electric, but that large ships will be hybrids, for the time being.
– For smaller vessels, full electrification is possible, says Braathen, and refers to the boats that are used in connection with the many fish farms along the coast.
He highlights that Enova has subsidy schemes where you can apply to have many segments of the fleet rebuilt for electric propulsion, as it can be expensive to have batteries installed in boats.
– But eventually it will be a requirement, he emphasizes.
An important milestone for Hagal Ocean is the launch of the Eoh battery pack, which is a Lithium iron phosphate battery, more specifically what is called LFP (LiFePO4) chemistry. Unlike many of today’s most common batteries, LFP batteries use iron phosphate instead of rare and expensive materials such as nickel and cobalt. In addition to making the batteries more environmentally friendly, they are also far less flammable than many other types of battery cells.
The new Eoh batteries are already installed in the first customer projects, something Braathen rejoices.
– Since the start of Hagal two years ago, we have scaled up a lot, especially in electronics development. I think it’s fun that we are finally establishing a dedicated subsidiary, Hagal Ocean, to put extensive focus on the maritime sector and speed up electrification even more.