GREEN (Cell) ShippingAuthorGeorgios (George) ChatzivasileiouKeywordsShipping; sustainability; green cell; csr;Body(1)The shipping industry, among the most internationalized, is highly regulated at a national,international and supranational level. A large number of stakeholders exist, with differentlevels of influence to the policy makers. The stated characteristics are among the oneswhich make the shipping industry so interesting both on a professional and academiclevel. Sustainability and shipping create a really interesting mix. Negative publicity exists inthe industry mainly due to oil spills. The main reason is the images of an oil spillcatastrophe including birds covered with oil.(2)However, this chapter is devoted to the Green (Cell) Shipping. The main core of the trendsin shipping are separated into two main categories: transportation efficiency and corporatesocial responsibility. Green (Cell) Shipping of course falls into the first category, namelytransportation efficiency and thus sustainability.(3)Greenhouse gas emissions reduction is the goal for policy makers. The InternationalMaritime Organization (IMO) which operates under the United Nations has assigned acommittee to the protection of the marine environment; however it was on year 2000 thatIMO released a study on the field of greenhouse gas emissions from ships with actualfigures from 1996. This was an important step towards creating a regulatory frameworkand informing the general public in order to raise the awareness of stakeholders within theshipping industry.(5)
Increased sustainability, corporate social responsibility and of course decrease of fuelusage and thus cost reduction are the goals aimed for by shipping companies. Manycompanies are interested in those trends. Over the past decade world economy hassuffered from oil prices in terms of costs and the shipping industry was not an exemptionfrom this rule. Later in this chapter examples of interesting ideas that some pioneers putinto practice will almost fascinate the reader. The main reason for this is that in a relativelysmall period companies have adopted the latest technologies in order to fulfill their statedgoals. Fuel efficiency towards cost efficiency and green transportation.(6)At this point, we should examine what exactly Green (Cell) Shipping means, which are theimplications and positive effects of using such a technology. As the latter indicates, itrefers to a specific technology. Among other benefits a vessel will enjoy reduced noise,which is more important in the case of passenger vessels and cruise ships. But thereduced environmental impact and the reduced cost are far more important factors in theequation.(7)Global Renewable Electrical Energy Network cell is what GREEN Cell Shipping stands for.In summarizing, GREEN Cell Shipping is an alternative to traditional diesel engines thatcould forgo such establishments being the main source rather to being a secondarysource. The word cell is used due to the fact that containers are thought to be the very firstimplication. Transforming wind and solar power through use of solar panels and windmillsto electricity transformed containers will be used as chemical storage spaces (batteries). Inturn, vessels would then use this power for their needs both electrical, for use inaccommodation spaces and machinery, and mechanical.(8)The essence of Green Cell Shipping is vessels using renewable energy sources as theirmain and only source of energy. Diesel engines and fuel tanks could be foregoneproviding space and extra weight allowance for the accommodation of new elements forenergy including power generators, solar panels and windmills, and energy storage space.
(9)Pilot projects do exist. A former coast guard vessel in British Columbia, Canada wasrefitted and was to be delivered in late 2011. The vessel to become the first in NorthAmerica with electric propulsion system powered by batteries, fuel cells and low emissiondiesel generators would be used in “acoustically sensitive” studies on the ocean andmarine mammals. As mentioned earlier one of the benefits of Green Cell Shipping is theelimination of noise. Researchers seem to be the first to benefit from this element. Prior tothis project passenger vessels with hydrogen fuel cells and electrical propulsion have beenused in Hamburg, Germany and Amsterdam, Netherlands.(10)Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), a leading transportation company, has a statedplan for a zero emissions fleet by 2050. In that respect NYK has released an exploratorydesign for its NYK Super Eco Ship 2030. The ship has projected a 69% reduction in CO 2emissions from 165 grams per container carried to 62 grams, a significant improvement.Achievement is based on the use of solar and wind power including fuel cell LNG(Liquefied Natural Gas). On the other hand, NYK vessel Auriga Leader operates withabout 10% of its electricity usage deriving from the 328 established solar panels.(11)Viking Lady is the first vessel with high temperature fuel cell towards green shipping. Theintegration of green on-board power generating infrastructure conclude to a theoreticalreduction of Greenhouse Gases equal to the emissions of approximately 20,000 privatecars. As Tognum states in a relevant press release, “Since two thirds of global cargotransportation is seaborne, this green fuel cell technology offers a vast potential foremission reductions”.(12)Although, in its core, renewable energy should be used as the main power source, time,allocated funds and innovations are essential elements towards achieving sustainability.Some examples as the ones introduced here do exist, but it is important for the reader tounderstand that we are far from a whole scale implementation. Solar panels need furtherdevelopment as their components are harmful for the environment at the end of their life.
In addition energy storage solutions seem to be expensive and inefficient in terms ofweight and storage capacity. The referenced pilot programs are promising in terms ofeffectiveness both in cost savings and emissions’ reduction.(13)However, sustainability is the main target and the use of Green Cell Shipping seems to bethe future for the industry. Other technologies exist as well, including the use of sails orkites such as the vessel Beluga SkySails potentially reducing fuel needs up to 35%. DKGroup, a Rotterdam based company, has developed a design system that pumps air intothe bottom of the vessel reducing frictional resistance of the hull surface and projectedsavings up to 15% including reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Fortunately enoughthe industry has invested in these technologies and in their pilot programs. The future willprove which technology is to be proclaimed the “winner”. Although the actual winner is theenvironment and the industry’s sustainable growth.(14)In conclusion, the goal setting process in the shipping industry is aimed at increasing thefuel and cost efficiency. Increased sustainability and corporate social responsibility arevery important factors. A lot of research, planning and decision making is taking place toensure the success of all efforts made to that end.
ReferencesCBC News, Greener B.C. research ship to use fuel cells: Refitted ship to launch in late2011, 2011, Retrieved fromhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/01/19/science-tsekoa-fuel-cell-hybrid.htmlFuel Cell Today, Market based intelligence on the fuel cell industry, Various reports,http://www.fuelcelltoday.comInternational Maritime Organization, Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2011,Retrieved fromhttp://www.imo.org/OurWork/Environment/PollutionPrevention/AirPollution/Pages/Default.aspxSkySails, SkySails for Cargo Ships, 2011, Retrieved fromhttp://www.skysails.info/english/products/skysails-for-cargo-ships/Tognum, Press Release, First Ship with High Temperature Fuel Cell for greener PowerSupply, 30/09/2009
Author’s BioGeorgios (George) Chatzivasileiou a maritime professional, at the time of contribution anMBA Candidate at the Segal Graduate School of Business in the Simon Fraser University,Beedie School of Business. An Alexander S. Onassis Foundation scholar holding aBachelor Degree from the Dept. Shipping, Trade & Transport, University of the Aegean.Having conducted a thesis in “CSR in the Shipping Industry and Corporate financialperformance” and being Co-President at the Net Impact SFU Segal Chapter has a stronginterest in Sustainability and the potentials within the shipping industry and other relatedheavy industries.Also posted at the author’s blog ‘Sparking Controversies’ http://g-controversial.blogspot.ca/2012/01/green-cell-shipping.html