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Solar – Sustaining the Earth’s Ecosystem

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“The poetry of Earth is never dead”   

but it seems like the Shipping Industry has begun to shred and stringently scarce the Earth off of its poetry. Every time our aware eyes skim through a research paper or an article that points to the  Shipping Industry emitting more than 300 million tonnes of fossil fuel every year, which is roughly 5% of global production, we unknowingly skip reading the unwritten paragraph.  

‘Attention! The Shipping Industry is ripping the earth off its beautiful ecosystem. The fossil fuels burnt make it hard for the leaves and trees to spread and fall into this poem’s rhythm. Sulfur oxides released into the water silence the voice of this ethereal poetry. All the horns, engines, and motors emit voices, once amplified, these reflect the bigger picture of a corroded crust, vibrating and dying. The Earth we realize is constantly spinning with a global headache caused by carbon that will soon reverberate, break walls and knock at the doors of our diminutive homes.’ 

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has layered down the only solution to this problem – Decarbonization (which means ‘the reduction of carbon’, opposite to carbonizing). The IMO’s initial strategy is to decarbonize the maritime sector by enforcing a reduction in the Carbon Intensity of International Shipping by at least 40 percent by 2030 and 70% by 2050 compared to the statistics in 2008. 

Today, every country is specifically aiming toward decarbonization in its own ways through different policies. The Indian Government’s Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways announced an initiative for green ports and green shipping under the Indian Maritime Vision 2030 to reduce the industry’s carbon footprints by a large margin.  

Identifying the rising need for an alternative that will take us to the path of decarbonization, our government has realized the potential of solar energy which can be harnessed to run Solar Electric Boats and their ability to replace fossil fuel-operated vessels as a completely green option. The Maritime Industry is both energy and resource intensive and Solar Electric boats are the nation’s roadmap to achieving energy and resource neutrality in today’s scenario.  

The use of solar energy in the field of public transportation is an innovative way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels hence helping reduce pollution. Solar electric boats run on a meager amount of operating cost and depict a promising Return on Investment in the first few years. A prime example of such an innovation is the Solare Electric boat named Aditya which runs through the waterways of Kerala, an initiative by the State Water Transportation Department to reduce fossil fuel consumption and move people across the water in a profitable manner (Click here to read our case study on Gustave Trouve Recipient – Aditya).  They can be used by the Government for various purposes. These boats can be used to move across tribal areas and heritage areas at a really affordable cost, to carry cargo, as emergency vessels like fire engines, ambulances, police boats, and patrolling boats, etc where transportation via road is not a feasible option. These can also be used as a replacement for building a bridge to move from point A to point B, we can build ROROs that run on solar energy for the same.  

Solar boats can be employed in the private sector in addition to the public sector, mostly for tourism and luxury purposes. Little boats to large luxury yachts can be utilized for transportation across lakes, beaches, rivers, and other bodies of water. After a long day at work, picture yourself drifting along the lake with your family, and driving into a floating restaurant. This is what the future looks like, and all of this can be achieved in a cleaner and greener way with Solar Electric Boats.