Marine InnovationTargets Emissions

EU’s Waterborne Technology Platform wants to deploy highly innovative technologies to bring about significant emission reductions in the waterborne transport sector. The platform is tapping into the European Commission’s Innovation Fund to reduce carbon.

The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest programs for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies, financed by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading System. Deployment of technologies and concepts facilitating the transition to zero-emission waterborne transport can be co-financed via the EU Innovation Fund, too.

This development is highly relevant, since these innovative technologies have reached a technological maturity, but are often not mature enough from a financial perspective.

Thereby, the Innovation Fund is key to deploy the technologies resulting from Research, Development and Innovation, more specifically in the framework of the Co-Programmed Partnership on Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport under Horizon Europe. When Research, Development and Innovation efforts are combined with support for the deployment of innovative technologies, Europe has a real shot to become a true frontrunner in the transition to zero-emission waterborne transport.

Waterborne Technology Platform has been set up as an industry-oriented Technology Platform to establish a continuous dialogue between all waterborne stakeholders, such as classification societies, shipbuilders, ship-owners, maritime equipment manufacturers, infrastructure and service providers, universities or research institutes, and with the EU Institutions, including 19 Member States.

research institutes, and with the EU Institutions, including 19 Member States. Industry players are “getting greener” by the minute. Finnish marine engine-maker Wärtsilä wants to be carbon neutral by 2030 – including readiness for zero carbon fuels by the decade’s end. Granted, the marine sector still relies on the use of fossil fuels, but Wärtsilä’s current portfolio already enables its customers to switch to carbon neutral fuels, such as biofuels or synthetic methane.

As the transition from fossil fuels to carbon neutral (or carbon-free fuels) will happen gradually, Wärtsilä is looking to enable this transition by providing technologies that allow its customers to use more sustainable fuels once these become available.

In October 2021, Wärtsilä Exhaust Treatment and Solvang ASA, a Norwegian shipping company, announced a full-scale pilot retrofit installation of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) system on one of Solvang’s ethylene carriers, Clipper Eos.

The agreement reinforces Wärtsilä’s continued research and development into carbon capture at the point of exhaust to support the shipping industry’s decarbonisation pathway. To remain in line with the IMO’s decarbonisation targets, Wärtsilä is initially aiming for a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions at the point of exhaust with its pilot unit.

Petri Charpentier

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