The world’s two first battery-powered fishing boats are from Norway – and the second will be even larger than the first.
The world’s first electric-diesel hybrid fishing boat, Karoline, entered service in Norway in 2015. By 2018 it had been running flawlessly for three years, using its battery power for three hours a day.
Now, more fishermen are turning to hybrid boats to cut both fuel costs and emissions.
Hans Angelsen og Sønner is a shipping and fishing company in North Norway. It has commissioned the world’s second – and so far largest – battery-powered hybrid fishing boat, Angelsen Senior, from shipbuilders Moen Marin.
Angelsen Senior will be 21 metres long and hold a crew of eight. It will have a top speed of about 10 knots, using two-piece electric motors with 650 kW.
The vessel will have a battery hybrid propulsion system with two diesel aggregates and state-of-the-art batteries. The boat will run on batteries when it has a light load and diesel when more power is needed. When running on diesel, the engine will also charge the batteries and generate heat for onboard cabins.
The hybrid system is estimated to reduce operating time for the diesel engine by 75 per cent, while reducing fuel consumption by 25 per cent. This will lead to an annual cut in carbon emissions of 200 metric tons.
The main benefits of a hybrid fishing boat are fuel savings and emission cuts. Reduced local pollution and reduced noise and diesel exhaust exposure for fishermen are two additional advantages.
Battery packs are still not powerful enough to run fishing boats by themselves, but the more boats adopt the technology the further the technology will develop.
There are more than 2.5 million small, motorised fishing boats worldwide, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Replacing just a tiny portion of these with hybrid vessels would be a huge boost to the environment, as well as a significant business opportunity.
Since fishing boats have less room than larger vessels – and greater weight limitations – Angelsen Senior is a testament to how far the electric revolution at sea has come.