The Canadian government has just floated the idea for creating new hybrid diesel, hydrogen fuel cell coast guard ships. Three retrofitted fisheries ships would replace four older coast guard ships to patrol both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans off the Canadian coast.
Diesel-powered ships are fairly efficient when they are at and out to sea. But, once they come near shore and are running at half-power they are much less efficient and become more polluting vehicles. This is where hydrogen fuel cells step in.
When the coast guard vessels are in port or around shore near sensitive wildlife areas, the non-polluting hydrogen fuel cells would be used for power. When the same ships head out to sea and use full power then the diesel engines would kick in.
Now, I’ve talked about hydrogen ships many times before. And going hybrid seems like a sensible approach in many situations especially when it comes to protecting our ports and sensitive coastal regions against marine pollution. Let’s hope that the momentum of retrofitting ships with hydrogen fuel cells continues worldwide and doesn’t slow down any time soon.