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Environmental Policy Will Shift from Land to Sea As Demand for Shipping Services Doubles

Environmental policy will see a clear shift from land to sea, as shipping is (and will remain) the most efficient way to transport vast amounts of goods long-distance, according to the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association chief executive Sturla Henriksen.

Demand for shipping services will double in the next couple of decades, which means that the shipping industry will continue to have a major impact on the global sustainability community. “Both in intercontinental and regional shipping, we will see more and more green ships traveling the blue oceans,” Henriksen said at the Nor Shipping conference in Oslo this week (via Lloyd’s List Maritime Intelligence).

Ships carry more than 90% of world trade and shipping is the most energy efficient form of transport, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association claims. In April, the association published a report detailing how the shipping industry can contribute to achieving the UN’s sustainability goals. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was adopted by the UN in 2015 and is a joint work plan and call to action to “protect the planet, ensure a dignified life for all people, and achieve inclusive economic growth, peace and prosperity.”

Technology to Drive Sustainability Innovations

The shipping industry will continue to see innovations in hull design, fuel propulsion, vessel operations and fleet management, with the dual aim of improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions.

One such innovation is technology group Wärtsilä’s introduction of a hybrid product, the Wärtsilä HY propulsion system. This is a fully integrated hybrid power module combining engines, an energy storage system, and power electronics optimized to work together through a newly developed energy management system (EMS). The company says it is the marine sector’s first hybrid power module of this type produced.

There is a notable trend in the marine sector towards hybrid propulsion solutions, which are anticipated to represent a significant percentage of all contracted ships within the coming 10 years, according to Wärtsilä. The new EMS represents the latest generation integrated control system, and has been specifically designed for this application.

The product is being introduced at the Nor Shipping Conference.

Earlier this month, shipping leaders from around the world gathered at the Third Joint Ministerial Conference on Port State Control in Canada to sign a declaration meant to protect ocean environments and advance international ship safety, according to the Maritime Executive.




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