The Marine Energy Transition (MAREN) project was initially funded for one year under the Nordic Innovation Mobility Mission: Sea Meets Land in 2020.
The goal of the project was to foster a more coordinated and rapid maritime energy transition by identifying needs and potential for new solutions, mobilizing suppliers, and developing business models for the supply of maritime energy, to reduce carbon emissions.
To build on the momentum of the promising results from the initial project period, Nordic Innovation has decided to co-fund the MAREN project for an additional 24 months. The project is run by a Nordic consortium of maritime clusters and research institutions:
- VASEK (FI)
- MARLOG (DK)
- Renergy (NO)
- SINTEF Energi AS (NO)
- SINTEF AS (NO)
- SMTF RISE (SE)
- Icelandic New Energy (IS)
Three tools for a maritime energy transition
Going forward, the project will develop three concrete deliverables for the maritime industry that can be used to accelerate the green maritime transition.
Firstly, the project partners will create a Nordic maritime energy program, with the purpose of foster and spread knowledge on new insights and innovations in the field of sustainable maritime energy.
Secondly, they will develop a Nordic strategy on maritime energy transition together with leading
Stakeholders- The strategy will outline how joint Nordic knowledge strongholds will be created and in turn converted to concrete innovation projects and collaborations in the region in the coming years.
Thirdly, the project partners will create a Nordic digital platform for cross-industrial open innovation and collaboration. The platform will offer an infrastructure for creating new partnerships and work as a “project generator” throughout the Nordic region.
The purpose of these actions is to coordinate Nordic innovation initiatives in the field of maritime energy, to showcase the Nordic position at a European level in relevant networks and to create a structure for project generation and collaboration that will go beyond the project period. In addition, an EU application will be formulated based on the findings of the strategy.
Long term impacts
- More coordinated development among the Nordic countries towards a sustainable maritime industry and more effectively utilized value-chains regarding alternatives fuels.
- Mutual energy and sustainability targets in the Nordic region as basis for a frontrunner position on the global market.
- Faster transition to renewable energy in maritime sector due to better knowledge dissimilation and more coordinated development between industry representatives and policymakers on a Nordic level.
- Reduced climate emission and more sustainable mobility due to a swift transition to decarbonized maritime energy.
- Demonstrated solutions for inter Nordic zero emission maritime mobility.
- Joint Nordic promotion of sustainable maritime solutions internationally.
Confirmed need for coordinated action
In the initial project period, the project consortium has consolidated Nordic cluster-to-cluster cooperation and identified complementary Nordic strongholds and interests, as well as laying the foundation for cross-border cooperation in additional projects like the INTERPORT project.
The consortium has confirmed that the most important component in reducing carbon emissions in maritime mobility is zero-emission fuels – and that this can create new value chains with high value creation potential.
While there is plenty of interest in the topic across the maritime mobility sector, there is still a high degree of uncertainty regarding types of fuel, technologies, market segments and development timelines. The maritime energy transition is highly complex and require further knowledge, as well as shared knowledge across borders and industries, to achieve a desired impact.
The level of uncertainty and risk, the complexity of the energy transition, and the dependence of new value chain constructions prevent independent action from individual businesses. To realize the potential in the maritime energy transition on a Nordic level, there is a strong need for coordinated action across borders and industries in the region.
Background for the MAREN project
The MAREN project was initially co-funded by Nordic Innovation through the Nordic Innovation Mobility Mission: Sea Meets Land.
The NOK 8 million mission, formulated as decarbonizing Nordic ports, transport of people and goods – on and between sea and land – ran in 2020 and 2021 and was an initiative to bring shipping in line with the Paris climate agreement. In March 2020, five projects were awarded co-funding and in November 2021 the NOW Ports project was announced winners of the mission.
However, since several of the co-funded projects has shown promising results and contributed to create strong Nordic innovation collaborations, Nordic Innovation has decided to extend the co-funding for some of them as part of our continued work with mobility and connectivity in the Nordic region.