The article

Maritime transport faces increasing pressure to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to be in accordance with the Paris Agreement. For this to happen, low- and zero-carbon energy solutions need to be developed. In this paper we draw on sustainability transition literature and introduce the technological innovation system (TIS) framework to the field of maritime transportation research. The TIS approach analytically distinguishes between different innovation system functions that are important for new technologies to develop and diffuse beyond an early phase of experimentation. This provides a basis for technology-specific policy recommendations. We apply the TIS framework to the case of battery-electric and hydrogen energy solutions for coastal maritime transport in Norway. Whereas both battery-electric and hydrogen solutions have de- veloped rapidly, the former is more mature and has a strong momentum. Public procurement and other policy instruments have been crucial for developments to date and will be important for these technologies to become viable options for shipping more generally.

Hanna Bach, Anna Bergek, Øyvind Bjørgum, Teis Hansen, Assiya Kenzhegaliyeva, Markus Steen,
Implementing maritime battery-electric and hydrogen solutions: A technological innovation systems analysis,
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment,
Volume 87,

The interviewee

Hanna Bach

PhD Candidate at the Department of Human Geography and CIRCLE, Lund University

The interview

Hannah is a pleasure to have you here at coffee break, how are you doing?

I’m doing very well thanks, how are you?

I’m doing great thank you, we are both having the same black coffee in Sweden so I’m not asking you about that, I want to ask you about your paper implementing maritime battery electric and hydrogen solutions, could you please tell me what a paper is about?

yes this is a paper where we explore the current status of technology development and implementation when it comes to hydrogen and battery electric solutions in the Norwegian maritime coastal shipping sector and we’re looking at these technologies as alternatives to fossil fuels for the maritime sector.

How interesting so why did you think it was important to do this research?

well the maritime shipping sector is one of the main contributors of greenhouse gases so when it comes to this sector it’s a bit tricky to decarbonize it and to make it more sustainable because it’s much more difficult to shift fuels from fossil fuels to alternatives than it is for in for example the car sector or road transport sector.

That’s fascinating thank you for clarifying it and could you please tell me the main findings of your paper?

yes so what we saw is that at the time when we wrote the paper so in 2019 there was still a need for further technology development and policy support to enable widespread implementation of both battery electric and hydrogen solutions when it comes to hydrogen there was only one pilot project in Norway at the time there was very limited plans for infrastructure development and very little knowledge about how to actually use hydrogen aboard ships when it comes to battery electric solutions things were a bit more developed there were several projects ongoing and starting up commercial widespread implementation of battery technology. wow interesting thank you so much for clarifying that and why did you decide to research that on a personal level, what’s your personal motivation? well I have actually sailed my entire life and i have worked a little bit in the maritime sector before but my academic education is in environmental and sustainability science so for me the motivation is that it comes from environmental concern and concern for the ocean and i want to contribute to getting more knowledge about how we can make shipping more sustainable.

How amazing thank you for that, finally I want to ask you about the policy implications of your paper

yes so one main driver of the actual uptake of battery electric solutions that was present in Norway with more and more ferries and other types of ships installing batteries on board we saw that came from an interest in public procurement and a specific focus on battery electric solutions so the Norwegian state for example issued a so-called development contract for a battery electric ferry where they offered financial support both for the extra financial toll of developing new technology as well as offered support in developing technological standards which has then been implemented into regulation so that seems to have helped a lot with both technology development and showing that the technology actually works amazing.

All my questions I wish you all the best to your PhD and I hope to see you next time. Thank you very much for having me.