shawnku ® 10-Nov-2021 05:41

Decarbonization of the inland waterway sector in the United States

Year: 2021
Edition: September
Language: english
Author: ABS
Publisher: ABS
Format: PDF
Quality: eBook
Pages count: 40
Description: Ocean shipping, along with many other economic sectors, has been focused for several years on decarbonization,
consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 (taking urgent action to combat climate
change) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The International Maritime
Organization (IMO) and numerous ocean carriers and shippers have, for some years, been evaluating and working
towards aggressive goals and strategies to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in international
shipping. In support of these efforts, ABS has issued comprehensive reports on different pathways to lower (and
ultimately eliminate) GHG emissions in ocean shipping.
Market pressures and international policy and regulations are largely driving the decarbonization initiatives in the
international shipping sector; however, those drivers are only recently beginning to emerge for domestic shipping,
especially with respect to freight shipping on inland waterways in North America (and the U.S. in particular).
Examination of pathways toward decarbonization of the inland waterway sector is in its infancy. This report aims to
inform key stakeholders by identifying challenges and opportunities that will be faced in moving toward a carbon
neutral and zero-carbon future on the inland waterways. The report also includes prospects for furthering the
sustainability advantages that barge transport has relative to other surface transportation modes.
To develop this report, ABS and Vanderbilt University, through the Vanderbilt Climate Change Initiative (“VCCI”) and
the Vanderbilt Center for Transportation and Operational Resiliency (“VECTOR”), formed an expert working group to
build a baseline assessment against which future zero-carbon pathways can be evaluated. The working group that
contributed to this report consisted of researchers with substantial experience in transportation infrastructure and
resilience, data analysis and climate change, as well as professionals with extensive industry experience within the
inland waterway sector.
This report establishes a supportable estimate of the current GHG emissions profile for the inland waterway fleet.
The report also evaluates the potential for currently available and possible future propulsion technologies and
alternative fuels that may reduce carbon emissions on the inland waterways, and sets forth existing policy challenges,
infrastructure needs and competitive market realities and trajectories that present opportunities for and challenges
to decarbonization. In particular, the report demonstrates the feasibility of near-term electrification of smaller vessels
operating on the inland river system through a case study and renderings of a weighted and balanced electrified boat
in a retrofit application. As battery technologies continue to improve, this approach has potential application in even
the largest operating towboats



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