Innovation for Low Carbon Shipping: An innovation system in the making

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Köhler, Jonathan
Oil, Gas, and Energy
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This paper uses an analysis of stakeholders in the shipping industry to assess the potential for low carbon ships to enter trades such as tankers and bulkers and to trigger a sustainability transition in maritime transport. An innovation system must perform innovation functions: development, entrepreneurship, deployment of resources and legitimation successfully in order to develop. The developments in LNG are compared to wind assistance technologies and an assessment of possible transitions pathways made. LNG is devloping an effective innovation system. LNG ships are being build and classed and are now in operation. However, infrastructure is still limited an the technology is not yet commercially viable without subsidies. It is being adopted and may soon enter full market deployment, driven by environmental legislation. Wind power in ships faces significant barriers, but offers a greater potential for emissions reduction and should therefore be supported to enable demonstrators to show their practicability in modern global logistics systems. The main barrier is the need to restructure sipping operations to take full advantage of wind power, with slower transit speeds and real time routing to maximise the eneregy input from wind.