As the cruise industry faces growing emission regulations – including a 2026 requirement for zero-emissions in Norwegian fjords, NCE Maritime CleanTech a Norwegian shipping and technology cluster has developed a concept for zero-emission cruising.
The concept, which was launched at the Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition in Miami this week, has been developed in cooperation with Eker Design, cruise giants Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises, technology suppliers in the industry cluster NCE Maritime CleanTech and various interest organisations.
The more futuristic aspect of the concept would involve the design and construction of a new generation of cruise ships with onboard power packs and new methods of supply and waste handling but an early phase could see repurposed PSVs used to accompany cruise ships and provide power.
Several containerised power packs would be loaded on the open decks of the PSVs making the ships become effectively a very large floating battery. A cable link to the cruise ship would feed the power allowing the cruise ship to operate without any engines being run. The power packs could be batteries or fuel cells when that technology becomes mature enough. Battery power packs would be recharged using Norways abundant clean energy between escorting operations.
“There is a need for new and green technologies to meet stricter regulations around the world. To find the best solution collaboration between ship owners, technology suppliers and regulators is essential”, Hege Økland CEO of NCE Maritime CleanTech said.
Cruises are one of the fastest growing forms of tourism internationally. In Norway the number of cruise tourists has grown quickly in recent years, and new projections suggest a million cruise passengers along the Norwegian coast in 2040. At the same time, constantly stricter regulations are driving a great need for new, green technology.
“This concept proves that it will be possible to meet the goal of zero emissions in Norwegian fjords in 2026, by using decommissioned PSVs that guide the ships in and out of the fjords using electric power. The concept also shows how zero emissions will be possible in the future by using new energy sources such as hydrogen, solar power and wind power,” said Ronald Strøm, project participant and Technical Manager of Edda Accommodation.
In parallel with the development of new ships, the required infrastructure must be developed, as well as new value chains for energy deliveries along the coast. Interaction between public and private players is essential, and NCE Maritime CleanTech plays a key role in this partnership.
“We also believe that there must be a shift towards more energy-efficient and region-specific vessels in the future. The concepts that have been developed will act as a platform for further innovation, and form the basis for a number of new innovation projects,” Økland added.
The development work has been supported by Norwegian foundation DOGA. The participants in the development of the concept are: Eker Design, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Bergen harbour, Scanship, Wärtsilä, Corvus Energy, Teknotherm, DNV GL, Hydro, ETA Energi, NORCE, Hardcruise, Blueday, BKK, Solbære, Hyon, Bostek, Østensjø, GAC Norway, Yxney Maritime, Prototech, Gann, NCL, Bellona and NCE Fjord Tourism Norway.