WMU Maritime Energy Management: Making an Impact for a Sustainable Maritime Future

There are several major issues that currently affect world trade and maritime transport and will continue to influence them for the foreseeable future. Governments and numerous industry actors, including international shipping, are engaged in an intensive effort to battle climate change, Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions and Air Pollutants. Through maritime energy management (MEM), maritime stakeholders can reduce air emissions and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) that call for immediate action on the part of all countries, organizations and individuals to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. Of particular relevance to the maritime and ocean fields are those relating to climate change and the emission of GHGs and air pollutants, which are UN SDG7 focused on affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy for all and UN SDG 13 focused on urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

The World Maritime University (WMU) is at the forefront of MEM education and research. Since 2016, WMU has offered a MEM specialization within the Master of Science in Maritime Affairs programme, and in 2018 launched a new postgraduate diploma programme in MEM by distance learning. To date, 51 maritime professionals from 29 different developing countries have graduated from the MSc programme in MEM, therefore disseminating expertise to the graduates’ home countries to maximize the global efforts towards decarbonization of international shipping.

MEM is also a WMU Research Priority Area (RPA) that examines issues raised in respect to energy management with a view to reducing air pollution and generating and consuming energy in a sustainable manner. The topic requires significant research in understanding current problems, generating innovative approaches to policy making for energy management, the design and operation of vessels with particular reference to the use of renewable sources of energy and to provide valuable insights into how the maritime industry can contribute substantially, and in an accelerated manner, to achieving a zero/low carbon and energy efficient global future. This RPA seeks to advance the knowledge in the MEM field by conducting world-class fundamental and applied research in the thematic areas of energy efficiency, regulatory frameworks, renewable energy, social factors related to energy, the economics of energy and energy-related technology/innovation. The thematic areas are addressed using a ship life-cycle perspective - design, production, operation and recycling - and in consideration of the impacts of shipping on oceans, through ports and to shipyards (see Figure 1). 

To promote a holistic response, WMU has hosted, and/or partnered on, numerous MEM focused major workshops, seminars and conferences including:

The WMU publication, Trends and Challenges in Maritime Energy Management, was published in 2018 with Springer Nature and today is among their top used publications related to the UN SDGs 7 and 13. As part of the WMU Studies in Maritime Affairs book series (WMUSTUD, volume 6), the book provides an overview of contemporary trends and challenges in MEM. More detail can be found here.

WMU is committed to the UN SDGs and works to support the achievement of sustainable and energy-efficient maritime and ocean industries. Through cutting-edge education and research in the MEM field, WMU contributes significantly to achieving the objectives of Goal 7 and Goal 13. 

Figure 1. Holistic Approach in the Maritime Energy Management

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