A reminder of the event posted earlier on this site

On 27th June 2012 at the University of Birmingham – The School of Metallurgy and Materials, located on the Edgbaston Campus, G6 – there will be a one-day workshop to discuss the wider role of the waterways in a sustainable society with emphasis on the application of electricity and hydrogen to waterways transportation.

The Ross Barlow, designed and built by a University of Birmingham team

 A totally clean energy strategy could be adopted, eliminating atmospheric, water and noise pollution. This will only be possible when the hydrogen is generated using on-site, non-carbon based technologies. More here.

Hydrogenesis: launching in June

In Bristol a consortium was formed to build Hydrogenesis, the first hydrogen ferry. It will run for six hours a day, most likely from noon, and be moored near the SS Great Britain. Though opposition councillors argued it was a waste of money in tough economic times, council leader Barbara Janke believed in the project and hopes that it will be the first step in creating a “hydrogen economy” for the city. She said: “This innovative project is putting Bristol at the forefront of the development of this new environmental technology, and will help spearhead growth in the sector bringing jobs and investment to the city. It will also introduce new clean and green transport to the city and will demonstrate the commercial advantages of this technology to business, residents, commuters and tourists.”

Bristol Council now wants to find a way to generate hydrogen locally from renewable energy. The date of the launch will be announced here.

New York and Hamburg run a hydrogen ferry and Amsterdam has a pilot project

New York ferries tourists to landmarks like the Statue of Liberty in a vessel which runs on hydrogen fuel cells (with a little help from a low-emission diesel engine, solar panels and wind turbines). The 1,400-horsepower Hornblower Hybrid will be capable of shuttling 600 passengers.

Amsterdam’s fledgling fuel cell transport network includes hydrogen-powered buses and boats on a trial basis. A consortium is cooperating on developing and building the boat together with a fuelling station which is to go up in North Amsterdam. They intend to use wind power to make hydrogen, making the boat a zero net emission vessel which can operate on competitive terms with a traditional diesel-powered boat. The 100-passenger hydrogen boat will connect the two banks of the river IJ, and should initially serve around 600 employees of Shell Amsterdam by ferrying them to the company’s New Technology Centre across the river from the city centre.

I noticed that a ferry service now runs from the Mailbox. Could a hydrogen ferry be used there? A Birmingham consultant (technology policy) emailed:


I have thought in the past about the feasibility of a water bus service. At 4 mph it will only work quite close into the city. The locations Professor Harris suggests could offer a commuting service for 20 people who live within a few minutes walk and who work in Broad Street area. What a brilliant way to arrive at work. If a list of members would pay a subscription, I think this would pay cost of running them in every morning. Take city centre visitors around in the middle of the day, then run the office workers home.  

He added: “A feasibility study is wanted. How to fund it…. ?