• 2017 January 31 14:30

    MARENER 2017 took place at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden

    The International Conference on Maritime Energy Management (MARENER 2017) took place at the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden from 24 to 25 January bringing together high-level speakers and over 300 participants from 83 countries to discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding maritime energy management, says WMU in its press release.

    Energy management is a key tool for energy efficient and environmentally friendly shipping that enhances profitability within a tightening regulatory framework. MARENER 2017 brought together policy makers, researchers and practitioners in maritime and ocean affairs to discuss the latest developments in the field of maritime energy management with the aim of achieving an energy efficient and low carbon future for the maritime industry. The event directly supports the WMU’s commitment to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 7: Ensuring access to affordable, reliable sustainable and modern energy for all.

    Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, stated in her opening remarks, “One of the most important questions we face in the maritime sector in the 21st century is how to achieve an energy efficient and low carbon future for the maritime industry....We have a responsibility to future generations and to the planet to do everything we can to minimize the negative effects of climate change.” The President highlighted the key role that recently adopted regulatory measures are playing in the shift towards maritime energy management. She noted that in order to stay ahead of the competition, the industry will need to work closely with researchers and innovators who can deliver the cutting-edge solutions needed to comply with the new legal requirements.

    Mr Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), delivered the opening keynote address stating, “Shipping is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way to transport goods around the world…Despite this, the industry is under continuous pressure to become safer, greener, cleaner and more efficient. For shipping, the increased pressure to reduce costs and improve environmental performance both point to one thing; energy management.” Mr Lim highlighted successful energy management strategies including renewable and alternative energy sources, enhanced hull designs, improved operational procedures and better use of technology to optimize performance and create a culture of energy management among a properly trained workforce. He also noted the key role of energy management in the maritime community’s response to climate change, emphasizing the world’s moral obligation to slow it down.

    In her keynote speech, Anna Johansson, Sweden’s Minister for Infrastructure, noted the truly global nature of the shipping industry and its worldwide impact that is reflected in the 2017 World Maritime Day theme of Connecting Ships, Ports and People. She stated that Sweden is aiming to be one of the world’s first fossil free welfare nations and that green shipping is one of the pillars of the future shipping industry. Further, she emphasized that, “A global industry, such as shipping, cannot be regulated by nations individually….It is essential that government, industry and academia cooperate to meet the challenges of the future. Cooperation is the way forward for sustainable shipping…Sustainable, clean and energy efficient shipping, as well as profitable shipping, is a part of our common future.”

    The conference included a wide array of speakers that addressed the topics of regulatory framework, energy efficient ship design and operation, energy management in ports and shipyards, economics of energy efficiency, social and human dimensions of energy management, theoretical aspects of maritime energy management, and alternative fuels and marine renewable energy including ocean energy. A book of selected peer-reviewed papers is expected to be published early next year.

    Students in the new Maritime Energy Management (MEM) specialization played an active role assisting with the sessions, including providing summaries of the discussions. This is the first academic year the MEM specialization has been offered at WMU, along with the new the Ocean Sustainability, Governance and Management specialization. The programmes were created in response to UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 focused on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and Goal 14 focused on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

    Craig Eason, Editorial Director of Fathom, moderated the event. In his summary of the conference discussions, he emphasized three interrelated routes to reduce shipping’s environmental footprint and increase energy efficiency: monitoring and processing of relevant emission data for effective regulation, cleaner fuels or use of abatement, and employing renewable energy. He highlighted the responsibility of shipping to pursue sustainable maritime energy solutions noting that technologies already exist and new ones are under development. Mr Eason acknowledged the “global roadmaps” made available through organizations such as the IMO as well as inspirational models of regional leaders such as Sweden which aims to be a fossil fuel free country. Further, he highlighted the need for life cycle thinking in terms of ships as well as continued consideration of the future of LNG and other fuels. Looking across the industry and considering maritime clusters he concluded, “Regulations cannot do it alone. We all need to want to make change to make real change.”

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