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Systematic Overview of Newly Available Technologies in the Green Maritime Sector


The application of newly available technologies in the green maritime sector is difficult due to conflicting requirements and the inter-relation of different ecological, technological and economical parameters. The governments incentivize radical reductions in harmful emissions as an overall priority. If the politics do not change, the continuous implementation of stricter government regulations for reducing emissions will eventually result in the mandatory use of, what we currently consider, alternative fuels. Immediate application of radically different strategies would significantly increase the economic costs of maritime transport, thus jeopardizing its greatest benefit: the transport of massive quantities of freight at the lowest cost. Increased maritime transport costs would immediately disrupt the global economy, as seen recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the industry has shifted towards a gradual decrease in emissions through the implementation of “better” transitional solutions until alternative fuels eventually become low-cost fuels. Since this topic is very broad and interdisciplinary, our systematic overview gives insight into the state-of-the-art available technologies in green maritime transport with a focus on the following subjects: (i) alternative fuels; (ii) hybrid propulsion systems and hydrogen technologies; (iii) the benefits of digitalization in the maritime sector aimed at increasing vessel efficiency; (iv) hull drag reduction technologies; and (v) carbon capture technologies. This paper outlines the challenges, advantages and disadvantages of their implementation. The results of this analysis elucidate the current technologies’ readiness levels and their expected development over the coming years.

Funding source: This work has been fully supported by the Croatian Science Foundation under the project IP.2020-02-6249.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Croatia

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