Shipping must become more climate-friendly – and tackle the fundamental transformation needed to achieve this immediately. This is the conclusion of the mtu Virtual Marine Summit, which took place for the first time from 18 to 20 May. Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems had invited customers and partners from business, politics and the media to this virtual conference to discuss the climate-neutral future of the shipping industry in lectures, panel rounds and forums. More than 2000 participants from 84 countries attended the conference. “The great response shows how important the topic of climate change and climate-neutral solutions is to the players in the shipping industry,” said Denise Kurtulus, Vice President Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “We will only find solutions together, with the interaction of propulsion manufacturers, ship owners, shipyards and politicians. That is why it was so important to provide a platform for the exchange of all relevant players with our Summit,” said Kurtulus.
In his opening speech, Prof. Dr. Hans-Otto Pörtner, member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, made it impressively clear how urgent the challenge of climate change is: “The scientific facts speak for themselves: to achieve our climate goals, no more compromises are possible in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. On the path towards climate neutrality, we need the cooperation of the shipping industry, too. But the shipping sector is characterized by a relatively large inertia in the transformation that is needed to reach those climate targets.”
The fact that Rolls-Royce Power Systems is willing to work with its partners and customers to develop the urgently needed technologies of the future and bring them into use was made clear by the eleven sessions with practical examples. Hybrid and battery-electric drive solutions, fuel cells and synthetic fuels were discussed as well as the role of digitalisation and autonomous control in increasing the efficiency of drives. Representatives of well-known companies in the shipping industry, including Svitzer A/S, Damen Shipyard, SCHOTTEL, Sea Machines Robotics Inc, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority of San Francisco (WETA) and Duisburger Hafen AG, presented their projects for “greener” shipping.
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Many of these projects are being tackled and implemented together with Rolls-Royce Power Systems. This is no coincidence, as Daniel Chatterjee, head of the company’s Green and High-Tech programme, explains: “As part of our future strategy PS 2030, we are currently transforming ourselves from an engine supplier to a provider of integrated sustainable solutions. This includes the development of climate-friendly future technologies, in which we will invest around 500 million euros this decade.” Thus, the company is currently developing into an important pioneer and partner in the field of climate-friendly drive and energy solutions.
The fact that it will only be possible to meet the challenge of climate change and bring about the urgently needed far-reaching change in the shipping industry if all relevant players contribute and interact was emphasised in many of the discussion rounds. The first mtu Virtual Marine Summit provided an important impulse for this.
Date: May 26, 2021
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