Superyachts contribute a lot to global emissions of CO2. For instance, a superyacht that holds a crew, helicopter unit, pools, and a utility submarine might emit up to 7,000 tons of CO2 per year. This is an astronomical number that we need to address as soon as possible for better environmental progress. Thankfully, there have been a few laws and regulations that urge yacht owners and the yachting industry as a whole to address their carbon footprint. However, how will the latter affect the yachting industry? Will this be the dawn of a new era for yachts, and will these new regulations cause a monopoly shift in the industry.
Why these new regulations have been made or how should be improved?
In the wake of environmentalism and the push to create more ocean-friendly earth, the shipping and superyacht industry is maybe embarrassingly behind. In fact, the superyacht fleet uses over 32 million gallons of oil which causes the emission of over 600 million pounds of CO2 just on a yearly basis. In fact, the carbon footprint of yachts surpasses that of the sum of a few countries’ emissions per year.
The problem is largely due to the fact that yachts are mostly used for enjoyment and not for commercial or ethical reasons. Meaning that the ultra-wealthy could be jeopardizing the earth little by little solely for their enjoyment. Just recently, the movement of team seas has brought attention to the deadly effects of pollution on the sea. What is more, is that most individuals involved in this movement to clean seas are young individuals who could not be interested in yachts or ships.
The wealthy who own superyachts that are not environmentally friendly are the same ones who complain about the state of the ocean today. Many wealthy yacht owners grumble at the fact that oceans nowadays are not as crisp, clean, or lively as when they were much younger, but the answer is ironic because their own yachts are the very cause of that problem in the first place.
With all these numbers and facts about CO2 emissions, it is evident that the state of the earth is only worsening. Before it sounds too bleak, it might not be too late for the environment. In fact, many laws and regulations have been in effect for a long time that will pressure owners and investors into ditching diesel engines and moving to cleaner energy.
The plan to tackle CO2 emmissions:
The plan to take down CO2 emissions has been in play for the longest time; ever since research-backed and confirmed the harmful effects of traditional fuel consumption, there have been new waves of technology that attempt to either limit the exposure or shift to a brand new energy source. Oil and gas are incredibly useful as a resource. It takes less than a minute to fully refuel the tanks which can last for days or even weeks. It’s also easy to transport and can be found in a lot of places. However, it’s time to bid our farewells to this energy source and welcome new options that are just as efficient with less harm to the environment.
To keep the environment clean and our waters pure, the first thing we ought to look at is large vehicles with a significant carbon footprint. While each of us individuals can take small steps to reduce emissions. In fact, reducing just one large vehicle’s emissions can be just as significant as reducing an entire neighborhood’s emissions. This is why it’s so important to go after the yachting and shipping industry because it contains the biggest polluters in the ocean.
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about clean energy is electric energy. Although it is not particularly 100 percent clean, it is far better than the current methods. Electric engines are extremely efficient as we have seen with cars that ditch diesel or petrol. Tesla for instance managed to create an impressive line of cars that only use electricity through the Lithium-ion battery units. In fact, the performance of the car rivaled even that of supercars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche who have been solely working on speed and performance.
When we shift gears to the yachting industry, it’s not difficult to see a transition with electric energy. Most yachts are stationed in the marina docks where they can charge for the next time they venture. In addition to that, yachts could benefit from supercharging stations in different docks where marinas could offer supercharges as a service.
As the world grapples with the new changes that are being made, the yachting industry is actually benefiting. Lots of investors and yacht owners were disheartened at the thought of losing the thrill of sailing, however, this is no longer the case. In fact, yachtsmen are benefiting from efficient electric generators using lower consumptions, solar systems, batteries offering electrification and hydro generation promising energy in the future vessels.
The preowned yachts modification:
The proposition that the second hand yacht ought to have modifications in the engine room is a brilliant idea. In fact, it recognizes that electric energy is not as easy to generate for large vehicles such as yachts. However, this policy is luckily consistent with the theme of limiting exposure to CO2. The modifications to be made are in fact not all that groundbreaking. They will not drastically change the motor or the experience of sailing. If anything, it will make the experience more enjoyable as these modifications will often make the engine quieter and more efficient.
Other than the environmental benefits that will be experienced, one of the biggest perks of this new law would be the fact that shipyards will have to have a protocol that offers engine modification services. Shipyards can offer modifications according to the new laws and regulations for yacht owners and marinas will have to accept the proper certificates in order to offer a berth.
This is a huge market opportunity for shipyards. In fact, in conjunction with electric charging ports, the new law could totally change the market and shift the balance of powers. However, only the first to adapt to this new law are the ones that will reap the benefits. It is best to act fast and enforce these laws. If shipyards attract pre-owned vessels or ships to convert them to be more environmentally friendly, the shipping and yachting industry will consider enforcing new laws which will have a significant effect on the market of yachts. In fact, yachts that use electricity and have made changes to the engine room will be worth much more than the traditional yachts. This is because old diesel engines will be a liability in so many ways. As we have seen in the last few years, more taxes have been put on old engines and oil prices are soaring nowadays due to the environmental changes. Not to mention, electric engines and environmentally friendly yachts will be far more efficient when it comes to energy consumption and it will be the wiser choice in the long run as well.
Challenges to overcome in the yachting industry:
Electric yachts would be very efficient. However, they are very tricky to make. More precisely, electric engines and batteries are just not that efficient for yachts and large vehicles. We have seen how cars benefit from having electric energy such as Tesla. In fact, cars that use electric energy are often too powerful and too fast. But this is not the case for yachts. The energy density is too low and the batteries cannot store enough energy without compromising other factors.
Yachts that have used electric energy often suffer from large and heavy batteries. Moreover, yachts would need energy-friendly chagrin infrastructure when docked. Nevertheless, do not let this bring you down. One easy solution is to invest in more research on electric energy and find a battery solution that can hold more energy and give more energy to the unit. In addition to that, ports and docks can offer services that exchange batteries as a way of quickly charging yachts. Instead of charging, the yacht staff will simply remove the empty batteries and install freshly charged batteries. The empty batteries can then be charged for another ship. This is a great option that can save a lot of time and energy and it only requires a battery company to unify the charging mechanism. Lots of research is already underway for this innovation that could receive funding from marinas or docks.
The balance of powers shifts:
The changes in the way we use energy are certainly fascinating, but what is more interesting is how this will affect the economy of the yachting industry. This will bring forth a new mini-market in the industry that we have previously discussed such as the engine modification workers. Not to mention, there will also be engineers and workers who are going to be involved in electrical energy research which could be huge in the next few years. www.mbmonarch.com
What we know for sure is that these changes are certainly coming and as we saw with other green regulations for the environment, it is best to act early. Companies, yachts, and marinas that do not abide by the environmentally friendly laws will be crippled by heavy taxes and penalties, and old yachts that do not quickly convert to a more sea friendly energy source will be worth nothing but pennies since they will be more of a liability in the future. Change is inevitable and it starts now. The yachting industry is urged to change its ways as soon as possible in order to comply with the new ecological regulations. Therefore, it is about time that the entire yachting industry tightens its grip on the matter at hand for a brighter and cleaner future.
Companies like https://www.emigreen.eu/ with solid goals to eliminate the marine pollution. Solutions do provide soot reduction systems, aiming NOx reduction by applying the selective catalytic reduction (SCR), a post-combustion process that effectively reduces the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions produced by lean-burn diesel or gas engines, and eliminate exhaust noise from an engine caused by the release of hot gas into the atmosphere in a series of high-pressure pulses, created when the exhaust valves open, by the exhaust silencer/after treatment housing solutions. Exhaust gas after treatment components, soot filter elements and catalysts, show excellent acoustic performance in certain frequencies and can harmoniously complement the acoustic performance of the exhaust gas silencer/after treatment housing. https://www.emigreen.eu/solutions/exhaust-noise-reduction/
Challenges of course are for the less than 30m-40m yachts which might be the minimum for retrofitting. Engine rooms in Yachts are often very small and especially the “smaller” yachts have even more cramped engine rooms.
Vessels with a keel laid before 2021 and a GT < 500, do not need a Tier III certificate. Only if they would repower the yacht, IMO Tier III becomes a requirement. However, when the law obliges, we will see refits with SCR for existing vessels. Thankfully already the owners enjoy the DPF systems preventing soot from landing on the deck or in the waters around the yacht with these systems are retrofitted in Superyachts more often.
The law will enforce the compulsory retrofits but the leaders will force the law to change
Preowned Yachts Modification – Monopolized Economy
The future belongs to the bold leaders. A greener future looks at the horizon by the innovating companies implementing technology in their determined strategy for a blue economy. Kongsberg Maritime (KM) has just introduced the launch of Blue Insight, a powerful, cloud-based digital toolbox to enable state-of-the-art collection, visualisation, contextualisation, management and distribution of ocean data. Focusing on marine and meteorological information, the Blue Insight ecosystem is of key value to both scientific and industrial users of the maritime environment.
Shipyards, the forward-thinking key players will monopolize the new economy by transforming the existing vessels or constructing only the futuristic ones, the regular of tomorrow, obliging the law to recognize and certify as compulsory the green vessels.
Already experimenting with the zero-fossil-fuel propulsion, solar sails, converters and new battery systems to produce renewable electric power, new lay out arrangement to prioritize the electrification. Sophisticated waste management, off plastic eco consciousness with eco products on board, a new era is in its startup.
What is your position on this? Which is your investment decision?