By November 1, 2021, we will produce a report on the feasibility of electrifying the Maine lobster fleet by 2050. We will work with lobstermen, marine engineers, and energy experts to make sure we understand what will work for fishermen while also significantly reducing (or eliminating) greenhouse gas emissions.
Based on our research to date, hydrogen (H2) fuel cell technology appears to be the most likely solution. H2 is already used in various city transit systems (e.g., buses), which require similar levels of horsepower. H2 can be stored at the dock much like diesel fuel. However, battery storage technology is rapidly evolving and may also be a solution. Our study will evaluate all the alternatives.
SOME KEY QUESTIONS OUR STUDY WILL ANSWER
What are the current greenhouse gas emissions of Maine’s lobster fleet?
What is the state of electric and hybrid marine propulsion systems globally?
Is this technology adaptable to small fishing boats (lobster boats)?
Can existing technology meet the daily energy demands of a long-range lobster boat?
What infrastructure would be needed to deliver “refueling” dockside (e.g., H2 storage, high-speed recharging stations).
How would we source green fuel, either green H2 or green electricity?
If H2 is a viable solution for boats, could Maine’s planned offshore wind drive an electrolysis process to generate green H2 fuel for fishermen?
How many jobs would be generated over the next 30 years in retrofitting the existing fleet?
What incentive systems might be created to fund the cost of transitioning the fleet?