The requirements and regulations regarding emissions are becoming increasingly stringent. Environmental friendliness and energy efficiency are becoming more and more important competitive advantages. It is therefore necessary to optimise ship engines, focussing on fuel consumption and emission performance. International research projects and pilots showed that particulate matter filters (PMF), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), low-sulfur fuels and engines for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are amongst the most effective technologies to reduce engine emissions and fuel consumption. For their comprehensive introduction various obstacles have to be overcome. For example, ship´s engines are renewed after approximately 15 years, due to their longevity, while truck engines have an operation lifetime of only five years. As a result, it takes longer until new emission standards are met in inland navigation. In addition, economic framework conditions (lack of financing for necessary innovations), limited knowledge transfer regarding innovations in shipbuilding (inefficient development trajectories) and the size of the inland navigation market (no specific research due to the small sector) have a restraining effect.
- Conduct application-oriented research (e.g. Retrofit, new propulsion technologies such as LNG or hybrid drives)
- Evaluate the demand for infrastructure ashore needed for the use of alternative fuels
- Utilise and disseminate research findings (e.g. construction of an innovative Danube barge, innovation clusters, practical manuals for emission reduction, supporting technologies and training courses on fuel-efficient navigation, participate in the introduction of environmentally friendly Technologies)
- Participate in the development of regulations and standards to increase the environmental friendliness of inland navigation (e.g. emission and fuel Standards)
- Support investments in modernisation (Aid scheme for green inland waterway vessels)