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Climate Change and Renewable Energy in the Maritime Industry

Mainbrace (November 2019 - No. 3)

There are few industries—indeed, few activities of any kind—that are not impacted by the increasingly intense debate on climate change. Whether by force of law or by voluntary action, all major sectors of the world economy must adapt to changing perceptions of how to reduce adverse impacts to our climate. The maritime industry is no
exception. As the industry transitions to cleaner fossil fuels for vessel propulsion, there remains the question as to how the industry can best move toward greater use of ­­emission-free renewable energy. 

Dating Back
The maritime connection to renewable energy dates back thousands of years, with the transition from oars to sails likely occurring more than 5,000 years ago. Indeed, wind propulsion of large vessels was the norm until the ­mid-1700s, when the evolution of the steam engine
resulted in the gradual transition to motive power. While commercial vessel propulsion will never revert to wind, the use of renewable energy sources in other (shore-based) aspects of the industry is clearly possible. Any shore-based activity that uses electric power has the ability to source that power—directly, indirectly, or “virtually”—from renewable energy generation. Read More »

This article by Frederick M. Lowther, partner at Blank Rome, is one in a series of articles written for Blank Rome Maritime's quarterly Mainbrace newsletter. To view the other articles in the November 2019 edition of Mainbrace, please click here.