Study Highlights Deep Synergy Between Energy Efficiency Measures And Reduced URN


  • New study by the University of Southampton, commissioned by the International Chamber of Shipping, highlights synergies between the implementation of energy efficiency measures and reduction of underwater radiated noise (URN).
  • In July this year the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) endorsed revised non-mandatory International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines on the reduction of URN that applies to new and existing ships.
  • Shipowners and the environment can co-benefit by reducing underwater radiated noise.

A new study by the University of Southampton has been launched to assess the interrelationship between measures aimed at enhancing ship energy efficiency and underwater radiated noise (URN) emissions. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) commissioned study highlights the significant synergy between the two, sources ICS Shipping.

Underwater Radiated Noise

Underwater radiated noise is the unintentional noise generated by vessels as they move through the water. Studies have found that URN generated by shipping can impede marine life, particularly marine mammals, both in the short- and long-term. In recognition of this issue, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued guidelines in 2014 that have now been revised following the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) in July this year.

The maritime industry is moving forward with reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to meet net zero emissions by or around 2050. The new study reviews the IMO’s initiatives and strategies for decarbonising the shipping industry and identifies the measures and tools available that can contribute to expediting the transition. By adopting certain energy efficiency strategies that also reduce underwater radiated noise, shipowners and the environment can co-benefit.

Energy Efficiency Measures

Chris Waddington, Technical Director of the International Chamber of Shipping, commented: “At ICS we welcome this report. It recognises that most energy efficiency measures will also reduce URN, and therefore presents a win-win situation for shipowners. For safe and cost-effective operation, it is important that shipowners retain discretion on the selection of measures…”

Professor of Maritime Fluid Dynamics Stephen Turnock is part of the University of Southampton’s Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI), which provides world leading knowledge on all aspects of the maritime sector from ship safety and efficiency, renewable energy, sailing yacht performance to environmental science, maritime law and decarbonising technologies, added: “The ICS commissioned report shows that shipping has an opportunity to embrace energy efficiency technologies that will both help ensure it meets its essential greenhouse gas emission reduction targets as well as reducing underwater radiated noise. Overall, the report should help in choices being made for future ship design and operation that reduce the overall environmental impact of shipping.”

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Source: ICSshipping


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