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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.
Ships carry more than 90 percent 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.
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