Electric shipping and hybrid ships

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There’s more to electric shipping than electric propulsion

Electric shipping and hybrid ships are important solutions now that the marine industry has entered a new era – the age of decarbonisation and strict regulation. Vessels must be future proof: flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs in the future. As the regulation evolves and restrictions on emissions become stricter, the best way to stay competitive is to rely on the best available technologies. Electric shipping or ship electrification is one of the key solutions for marine decarbonisation.

The future of shipping is here: Discover how these interesting electrical solutions can reduce the environmental footprint for different vessels.

Electrical solutions and decarbonisation

Electrical solutions will deliver reduced emissions as retrofits and offer a competitive advantage also for newbuild vessels.  

Electrical solutions have been part of vessel design for many years in the form of diesel-electric propulsion or shaft generators, for example. The share of green energy – from renewable sources such as wind, water, and solar – in land-based electrical grids is on the increase.  

It makes sense for ships to take advantage of shore-based green energy. As an example, using a shore connection can reduce emissions significantly while the ship is in port. Depending on the vessel and its operating profile there are many ways to reduce its emission footprint. The key is optimisation: finding the right solution for each vessel.  

Slow steaming used to be the favourite solution for many vessels to reduce emissions. Flexibility was not an issue then, so this means that some vessels will never be fully optimised. Electrical systems onboard make it possible to use smarter propulsion systems. Smarter, more resilient, and more flexible – and thus capable of adapting to the changing needs in the future of shipping.

What powers cruise ships in the future? Will cargo ship engines be electric?

Deepsea vessels will have to adopt green fuel engine technology to decarbonise. Electrical systems will be an integral part of the system including shaft generators and shore connection. Electric cruise ships and electric cargo ships are a futuristic concept, but they can go hybrid and take advantage of solar energy to improve their efficiency. 

Tugs can benefit from hybrid or even full electric solutions. They operate close to the shore to land based electrical infrastructure. Because they have high load variations and spend long periods of time on standby, hybrid electric solutions will cut their GHG emissions significantly. 

Ferries are often part of local transportation routes and can easily use the land-based charging infrastructure. If the route is short enough, the ferry can even be fully electric. Many ferries still prefer to have a hybrid electric solution to minimise risks. 

Any short-distance or coastal vessel can be a hybrid ship. They can charge their ship battery with green energy available at the port. They can be a zero emission ship while manoeuvring, station keeping, and port navigating if they switch to full electric power during those operations.

Battery-powered ships, hybrid ships or diesel-electric ships?

Which solution would be optimal for your vessels? The following are examples of actual solutions.

E&PMS landing page Solutions

RoRo - Diesel electric, PTO/PTI and hybrid
Ferry - Diesel-electric and hybrid
Ferry – Zero emissions battery solution
Cruise Vessel - Fuel cell diesel-electric propulsion
Bulk Carrier - Hybrid propulsion with PTO/PTI and shore connection
Offshore service vessels – Hybrid propulsion
Shuttle Tanker - Diesel Electric
Tug – Hybrid 
Fishing Vessel - Hybrid
Large LNG carrier – Next-generation hybrid-electric
Catamaran ferry – zero emissions battery solution

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Why electrification – market trends and drivers

Watch the video and you will also learn three reasons to consider ship electrification as a solution for marine decarbonisation.

Solutions in more detail

Customer stories

Discover the benefits others have already gained from marine electric solutions.

  • Finnsirius © Finnlines
    Finnlines' two RoPax vessels

    Why was an integrated hybrid solution for two new RoPax vessels the perfect choice to support Finnlines’ long-term decarbonisation goals?

    Read about the all-in-one package for zero-emission operation
  • Aasen Shipping's modern bulk carrier
    Aasen Shipping

    Hybrid solution delivers big fuel savings, reliability and outstanding performance for Aasen Shipping's modern self-discharging bulk carrier.

    Learn more how hybrid solution delivers big fuel savings
  • Misje Vita

    Hybrid solution including engine, batteries, propeller and energy management system delivers big fuel savings for Misje Rederi's newbuild bulk carrier.

    Read more about the hybrid solution
  • Brittany Ferries

    With an 11.5 MWh energy storage system, Brittany Ferries’ two new RoPax vessels are record breakers. What rewards will they reap from hybrid operation?

    Read more about the hybrid solution
  • Harvey Gulf International Marine

    Wärtsilä HY hybrid upgrade has helped make Harvey Gulf International Marine’s operations significantly more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

    Read more about Wärtsilä HY
  • Maersk Minder

    Wärtsilä HY hybrid upgrade cuts fuel consumption and carbon emissions onboard the Maersk Minder anchor handling tug supply vessel.

    Learn more about Wärtsilä HY hybrid upgrade
  • Finnlines’ three new RoRo vessels

    New RoRo vessels enjoy improved efficiency and sustainability with Wärtsilä’s electric hybrid propulsion and energy management and optimisation systems.

    Discover the Wärtsilä hybrid technology
  • akerbiomarine reference
    Aker BioMarine

    Wärtsilä’s sustainable technical and hybrid solutions, with high levels of safety and reliability, were considered as being the most suitable for this project.

    Read more
  • Marfin HY Bulker reference
    Paolo Topic

    The integrated solution delivers a drastic reduction in fuel consumption and maintenance costs.

    Read more

Insights on electric shipping

Discover these insightful articles and case studies – they will build your knowledge of ship electrification and hybrid marine solutions.

aerial view from ship
24 Aug 2023 · Article
7 min read
Seven fascinating hybrid ship trends that everyone needs to know about
The next decade is promising some exciting developments for hybrid vessels....
15 Aug 2022 · Article
4 min read
Introducing the MS Medstraum – the world's first zero-emission fast ferry
As part of the EU-funded TrAM project, Wärtsilä and partners have...
20 Apr 2022 · Article
6 min read
Plug and play – cutting vessel fuel consumption and emissions with shore-power
Five things you need to know about reducing emissions, fuel costs and...

Webinars related to electric shipping

Explore what you need to know about electric shipping and hybrid ships – learn from experts from the marine industry and associations. Register now! Or catch up on webinar recordings.

16 Nov 2022 · Webinar
Short Sea Shipping - A Smart Propulsion System
With the drive to decarbonise and ensure vessels are relevant and do not become obsolete it is time...
Denmark Hybrid Solutions Webinar Hero Slide
18 Nov 2020 · Webinar
Hybrid Solutions for marine applications - Optimise your operational performance

Hand-picked press releases

Wärtsilä partners with Transworld Ship Management on Decarbonisation Modelling

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade press release 1 June 2023 at 10:00 UTC+2
  • The project will create and validate a digital model of the ‘TBC Prestige’, based on measured real-life data  © Transworld Group

Technology group Wärtsilä will partner with Transworld Group to apply the most advanced decarbonisation modelling capabilities to the bulk carriers sector of Orient Express lines of Dubai, owned by Transworld Group and Managed by Transworld Ship Management (TWSM), one of India's premium private sector ship management firms. The aim of the project is to provide decision-making support by simulating the impact of efficiency upgrade technologies on the vessel’s environmental performance. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in December 2022.

By creating and validating a digital model of the ‘TBC Prestige’ based on measured real-life data, various technology solutions can be simulated and assessed. The technology simulations will indicate their effect on emissions profiling, the impact on the ship’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) rating, and Return on Investment (ROI) calculations. This is the first such modelling project for the Indian maritime market. The modelling is part of the Wärtsilä’s Decarbonisation Services offering.

“We are determined to explore all options for decarbonising our fleet operations. Wärtsilä’s modelling capabilities will allow us to determine the best way forward for achieving our sustainability ambitions in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible. The ‘TBC Prestige’ was chosen for this project as we have ten similar bulk carrier vessels in our fleet,” says Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Transworld Group.

“Wärtsilä is the only equipment supplier able to provide this kind of service with full in-house capabilities. It is a value-adding service from a company with vast experience and know-how in meeting the marine sector’s complex environmental regulatory requirements. We applaud Transworld Ship Management for their vision in seeking an optimal decarbonisation solution,” says Sachin Kulkarni, General Manager, Marine Business Sales for South Asia, at Wärtsilä.

Among the technologies to be examined in this project are a new optimised propeller, Wärtsilä’s Energoprofin, an energy-saving propeller cap, a shore power solution, and a shaft generator system. TWSM and Wärtsilä have established a long-term relationship with various lifecycle services and solutions having been previously delivered.

Media contact for more information on this release:

Isabella Alder
Positioning and Strategic Communications Manager
Wärtsilä Marine Power
Tel: +44 (0)7792 681 757
marine.media@wartsila.com

Image caption: The project will create and validate a digital model of the ‘TBC Prestige’, based on measured real-life data © Transworld Group

All Wärtsilä releases are available at https://www.wartsila.com/media/news-releases and at http://news.cision.com/wartsila-corporation where also the images can be downloaded.

Wärtsilä in brief:
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,500 professionals in more than 240 locations in 79 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2022, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
www.wartsila.com

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