Reduction of fuel consumption and lowering harmful gas emissions are among the most important research topics in marine transportation. The latter particularly refers to the vessels that operate within highly inhabited areas like short-sea vessels. This paper deals with the techno-economic assessment of the implementation of renewable energy sources in the short-sea shipping sector, where Croatian ro-ro passenger fleet is taken as a test case. In this sense, the aim of the paper is to identify preferable power system configuration that reduces ship emissions (CO2, NOX, SOX, particulates) at acceptable costs. Firstly, realistic operating profile of ro-ro passenger ships is analysed and their annual emissions are evaluated by assessing total fuel consumption and multiplying it by relevant emission factors. Secondly, renewable energy potential in the Adriatic Sea and Croatian energy mix are reviewed. Third, the techno-economic analysis of conventional power systems with a diesel engine as a prime mover, and proper alternatives is done. Finally, it is found that electrification of short-sea shipping sector is recognized as a promising option to reduce environmental footprint and operative costs of the ship over its lifetime.
Keywords short-sea shipping, ship power systems, renewable energy sources, environmental footprint, fuel consumption, operative costs