Last week we wrote about sustainable boat passenger transport and this week we will elaborate on the topic a bit more. With additional investigation, we found statistics which should encourage further decarbonization. Discover more in the text below.
Horizon, the EU research & innovation magazine, wrote about road traffic jams being a big problem in Europe and approximately costing 110 billion euros a year. Additionally, road transport is one of the main air polluters in cities. The EU set up strict guidelines and goals to achieve decarbonization until 2030 and 2050. The strategy for achieving these goals is made on both a country level and the EU level.
It is not important to solely decarbonize road transport, but to also find alternatives like boat or train transport. Infrastructure needs to support the transition, in means of charging points, staff for guidance and monitoring, while the broader public needs to be aware and educated about transport alternatives.
The alternative on islands and remote areas, which are not as accessible by road, is indeed a sustainable boat transport. By initiating ferry lines running on alternative fuel, an opportunity for transition is also giving subsidies for island inhabitants to invest in alternative drives on their vessels. Outboard electric engines are somewhat acceptable in respect to the price, while inboard systems require battery support, making the solution costly. In that case, subvention for alternative propulsion systems would bring the option closer to the end users.
Additionally, companies who offer daily charter would reduce their carbon footprint by using alternative drives. They would enter a specific business niche and attract environmentally conscious customers.
Mikal Dahle, project manager at Norway's Kolumbus AS, states how conventional ferry transport has a more negative carbon impact rather than plane transport. Within their scope of work, people at Kolumbus are developing a zero emission vessel whose price would be 25% less than existing solutions on the market. The price reduction is achieved by using modularization. The vessel is divided into specific components, such as hull and passenger area. By using modules, following vessels will be easier to build and cheaper, due to previously determined standards.
Modularization is one of the bearers of sustainable innovation and it is bringing sustainability in conventional product development. The modularity of a product allows for easier upgrades, assembly and/ or modifications (Sonego et al., 2018). According to Stewart and Yan (2008), structural and functional independence, alongside reduced interaction with external modules, are the main characteristics of modularization.
It is important to mention that modularization is planned within the product design stage. Sustainable design is a relatively known niche, where young designers can contribute. Sustainable design is not only applicable in boat building and yacht design, but also boating equipment and electronics. While designing, one takes into consideration the whole life cycle of a product. Therefore, it is important to consider the possibility of product recycling. If a product cannot be fully recycled, modularity allows for partial recyclability.
We presented you the sustainable practice of modularization and its applicability in the marine industry and sustainable boat transport. Write in the comments below whether you enjoyed this post form or via our social media!