Shipping is the main carrier of worldwide trade, transporting 90% of all goods. It is highly likely the screen you are reading this on made its way to you by sea. Despite this, the industry produces less than 3% of all CO2 emissions. However, with the global economy expected to grow by 130% between now and 2050, shipping emissions are projected to soar as global trade increases.
With stringent new emissions regulations for marine transport coming into force globally in 2020, the shipping industry is preparing to clean up its act. Is there a solution that is both cost-efficient and environmentally friendly?
Living on an island may conjure up romantic images, but it isn’t without its challenges - electricity being one of them. Countries with large island territories like Japan and Indonesia as well as a number of African countries often struggle to get power to their offshore regions. Connecting disparate islands with subsea cables is costly and complex. Therefore island power lines are often separate from mainland grids. Building local power plants is usually unviable for the sizes of population served. Offshore power sources like wind and tidal energy are becoming increasingly popular, but they are only practicable when islands can be connected up easily. More often than not, diesel power generators are the last resort, but this is pricey and not environmentally friendly.