What unites the Nordic nations? Many would mention our shared history, heritage or culture, but physically it’s literally the ocean. It should come as no surprise, therefore that for the Nordic nations it is of utmost importance to protect the oceans of the North Atlantic. All the Nordic nations rely heavily on marine industries such as transport across the sea, fisheries and tourism, while promoting themselves as “the Green Valley of Europe”. Currently there is an increased discussion on preserving the Arctic, particularly in light of possible future transport routes across the North Pole region.
Goal of the Nordic Marina project
The overall goal of Nordic Marina is to reduce emissions and increase the use of alternative fuels in the marine sector. To do so, the project aims to create a network between key players in all the Nordic countries to identify policy and roadmap recommendations for Nordic policy and decision makers on how to increase the use of alternative fuels and reduce emissions from marine applications. It is important in all aspects to increase efficiency and reduce waste in the fragile environment of the North Atlantic. The recommendations shall put forward goals for 2025 and also longer term goals, i.e. 2050. They should specify actions, CO2 reduction goals, national & Nordic programs, international cooperation, infrastructure and alternative fuel resources among others. The outcome will be published in a “white paper” at the end of the project and the project will host a conference to disseminate key findings. It is expected that the Nordic Marina network can continue on after the lifetime of the project, and become to some extent self-sufficient.
Over the last few years all the Nordic countries have been promoting the use of environmentally friendly fuels, mainly focusing on land transport. The Nordic nations have set forward policy goals regarding emission reductions from transport and there is good cooperation between industries in that field as well as established networks. This level of cooperation and shared policy goals currently does not exist for marine applications. Oil consumption can be very high. In some cases more than ½ kilogram of oil is burned to catch 1 kilogram of fish! Even in cases where oil consumption is low per unit, as in maritime transport which is the most fuel efficient way of transporting goods, the sheer size of the sector is such that relatively small advances in fuel efficiency or alternative fuels translate into huge global impact.
Technical developments in land transport have occurred in the last few years but there are many challenges in adopting those developments for
marine applications and in some cases alternative solutions need to be found. The marine sector can be an ideal platform for utilization of such
resources where unfortunately little progress has been made so far.
Examples of alternative fuel projects:
- Stenalines: methanol powered ferry (SE)
- Scandlines: diesel-electric ferry including large battery pack (DK)
- Northsailing: regenerative hybrid electric battery propulstion in whalewatching sailboat (IS)
- Norled: 100% battery electric ferry (NO)
Marina fact sheet from the Nordic Council of Ministers