Rotor blades symbolising aviation

© DLR, CC-BY 3.0

Today, the Senate of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) gave its go-ahead for the DLR Institute for Maritime Energy Systems, which will open in Geesthacht, Schleswig-Holstein.

One of the focal areas for the scientific work is to be the development of technologies for an energy-efficient and low-emission supply of power, heat, and cold for freight and passenger vessels. The development and adaption of fuel cells for maritime applications are key to this work. The scientists at the institute will work on making ships’ port operations and the shoreside energy supply more energy-efficient.

Norbert Brackmann, Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry, approves of this development: “The amounts of CO2 and other harmful substances emitted by the current generations of vessels are one of the major challenges for us as we seek to reach the climate targets and implement the energy transition, including in transport. This is why LNG, hydrogen and fuel-cell technology are a must for future, modern generations of ships – alongside a re-orientation of the energy infrastructure in our ports. The new DLR institute is to make a major contribution to our efforts to increase the technical edge that our ship industry, our shipping lines, shipyards and port operators, have already achieved. In this way, the DLR institute contributes directly to our climate targets, which makes it an example of a fruitful symbiosis of ecological and economic interests.”

In its clearing session on 14 November 2019, the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag acceded to the request by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and approved the necessary funding for the new DLR institute, which has now been made available. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will provide an annual sum of €15 million for the new DLR institute. The Land of Schlewig-Holstein will add a launch investment of €15 million and co-finance the institute with approx. €1.7 million per year. The institute’s budget is covered by the Pact for research and innovation and as such is to be increased by 3% each year to account for the usual rises in costs, such as salary rises under collective agreements.