"The future of the shipping industry is hybrid"
"And that won't change any time soon."
That is Arnstein Eknes's answer to the question of how ship technology will develop in the coming years – and he has grounds for saying this. Eknes has worked for DNV GL (formerly Det Norske Veritas) for 25 years. For the first 10 years, he approved ships, mainly in offshore, shipping and newbuild projects, and he was then DNV GL's country manager for Finland and the Baltics for a few years before being appointed segment director for special and offshore ships in DNV GL.
"For the past 10 years, my job has mainly been to monitor what is happening in the market in relation to special and offshore ships and at the same time to connect people in the market with DNV GL employees who can deliver smarter solutions for tomorrow's market. To a certain extent, I must be able to predict trends and changes that affect our customers, the market and us. I've spent a lot of time following up future technologies that the company and I believe will be a success and which can be used in much more than just one segment," he says.
Storing energy is a key factor for managing to use renewable energy. Arnstein points to a future in shipping where heavy oil and diesel will be replaced by alternative fuels such as LNG and others, as well as by the greater use of batteries.
And the greater use of batteries is something that interests Sondre Henningsgård, a senior consultant with DNV Maritime Advisory. He is also the managing director of the Maritime Battery Forum (MBP), which is not part of DNV GL but is an independent professional body that DNV GL is a member of. Due to his expertise and knowledge of battery technology, Sondre's advice is in demand and he receives questions from all over the world about what is worth doing.
"Many people wonder what will change if they start to use batteries now. It's often the case that if you can afford to make an investment that may be expensive now, it will produce financial gains later on. In my experience, the shipping industry often has an "either/or" mentality, and many people believe they will have to use batteries for everything once they start using this type of technology. What we want to achieve is more people realizing the room for opportunities and combinations. Once you have access to batteries, you'll quickly discover they can help improve almost all other energy processes on board. They provide the ability and opportunity to balance something that you couldn't before," he says.
Sondre and Arnstein point out the Libas, North Sea Giant, Yara Birkeland and Future of the Fjords as good examples of ships that have implemented battery technology. This is why: