3660 Governance of innovative cleantech retrofitting in the shipping industry? Experiences from a Danish case study

Roberto Rivas Hermann , Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Carla K. Smink , Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Søren Kerndrup , Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Full Papers
  • rrivashermann_et_al_cleantech shipping_reviewed.pdf (399.0 kB)
  • Justification of the paper:

    Shipping has large environmental impacts and reducing these problems is a challenge for actors in the maritime sector as well as for regulators; Some frontrunner shipping companies have started to incorporate green shipping practices into their activities, e.g. route improvements, environmental management systems, and purchase of maritime cleantech. Maritime cleantech has been regarded as the key solution to comply with regulations and reduce costs. However, definitions of maritime cleantech differ and range from end-of-pipe pollution control equipment, more efficient engines, improved hull-design and alternate propulsion fuels (LNG, methanol). Different constellations of actors seem to follow different cleantech trajectories. It is therefore important to develop new forms of governance in order to create innovations which are comparable with the state of art in other industries and new ways of building networks and partnerships. 


    The paper aims to improve the understanding of cleantech innovations and forms of governance in the shipping sector by analyzing:  How can governance promote clean tech innovation in the shipping industry? It comprises two Danish case studies: Partnership for Cleaner Shipping and the Retrofitting Project.

    Theoretical framework:

    The analytical framework is based on governance and innovation theory, where we try to combine the concepts of multilevel perspectives of environmental innovations and governance. We will use a framework for explaining how clean technology innovations can lock-out path dependent industries. The transition to a green industry is usually time and resource consuming, but also a learning process. Common projects, with the participation of supply and demand side have been pointed as good experiments to facilitate such learning (Elzen et al 2004).


    We have chosen two different case representing different governmental and cleantech challenges. The purpose of two cases is to analyze the dynamics of clean tech innovations in and between private and public actors in the maritime sector. The first case study is the Partnership for Cleaner shipping. The partnership was initiated by the Danish Protection Agency. Maritime cleantech is identified as one of the key domains with the purpose to help the Danish shipping firms to comply with the new international regulations of air pollution avoidance at sea. The partnership subsidizes maritime cleantech R&D to consortiums. Besides cleantech solutions, a concrete outcome of the project has been a close collaboration between equipment manufacturers (supply-side) and ship-owners willing to test the clean tech innovations (demand-side).The second case study is the Retrofitting project by the Danish Shipyard and Equipment Manufacturer Association. The project aims to develop showcases of retrofitting old vessels with air pollution abatement technology.


    "Cleantech" in the shipping industry includes end-of the pipe technology, efficient engines and low-energy consuming equipment. These "innovations" are mainly incremental. Niche R&D is resulting from the association of supply and demand side. Contrary to other industries, the demand steers on what cleantech should be developed. This secures purchases of the equipment and avoids risks of possible failures. Both cases highlight how governance becomes a way to advance clean tech R&D in the maritime industry.