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Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Last week we wrote about innovative practices from Salone Nautico di Venezia. A few projects were connected to public transport. Transport is an important infrastructure aspect that needs to be decarbonized, but is often neglected. Projects such as decarbonizing taxis and buses are often prioritized. The projects from the boat show give a highlight on the decarbonization of marine transport. More about the topic below.


Marine passenger transport is present in Croatia and mostly based on seasonal demand. On a national park level, NP Brijuni, Mljet and Krka are using passenger transport for their visitors. We can conclude how using marine transport is focused mostly on late spring, summer and early fall periods. However, that doesn't minimize the carbon footprint if the usage frequency is increased. Modern cities like Amsterdam, Stockholm, New York and Hong Kong use daily boat passenger transport as a means of public transport, whose decarbonization is highly needed. While several examples in the US started cautiously by employing hybrid solutions, there is a fully electrified success example from Denmark. The e-ferry Ellen is boating without any disturbances from 2019. In the text below find out all the challenges passenger transport has to go through.

Where can it be applied in Croatia?

National park Mljet uses completely electrified vessels, who were realized within the project „Mljet - the first green island on the world”. The national park Krka uses catamarans with electric engines, while conventional ferry lines are used to reach Telašćica and Lastovo islands.

If other national parks and boat tours would use vessels running on alternative fuel, a new economy niche would be created for all the stakeholders within the process, including the ones responsible for maintenance later on.

The effect of passenger transport

The sole effect cannot be generalized by the type of transport. One needs to take into account parameters like journey length, vessel type and fuel type when calculating the overall impact. Campillo and colleagues (2019) point out that existing vessels should either use purifiers or transfer to alternative fuel. The authors point out several opportunities and hurdles in decarbonizing marine transport. The opportunities lie in urban centers, where road transport is saturated. The main examples are Brazil, where road transport would be partly compensated with a more sustainable boat transport. A hurdle is most certainly charging and storage, for vessels whose energy supply relies mainly on batteries. In Croatia’s neighboring countries a few initiatives are being developed in regards to super fast chargers for vessels. For instance, during our visit at Salone Nautico di Venezia we got acquainted with a fast charger developer, Aqua SuperPower in collaboration with Italian e-concept.


Croatia has an array of locations where applying boat transport on alternative fuel would reduce the transportation’s carbon footprint. Additionally, it would make a positive impact to employ alternative fuel variants onto regular ferry lines between Croatian islands and the coast. We need to cooperate on developing infrastructure, the vessels themselves and alternative fuel solutions, to create a sustainable ecosystem.

We hope you enjoyed the read & until next week!

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