2018 Maritime Risk Symposium – Energy and Maritime Risk

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 16, 2018

It seems that energy touches every aspect of our lives from heating our homes to ensuring that fresh produce is available at grocery stores. It powers our cars and allows industry to move products around the world. The connection between energy and risk to the maritime environment has been a growing area of discussion, research and analysis.  
The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, within its Joint Doctrine Publication (JDOP 0-10) 5th edition UK Maritime Power, captured this issue superbly: “Fossil fuels and minerals are an important resource in the maritime environment. New deposits of oil and gas, as well as mineral wealth, are discovered under the seabed each year, and improvements in technology will facilitate future exploitation. Access to these, whether found on the continental shelf or within an exclusive economic zone, is likely to be contentious. For example, Russia, Norway and Canada have all laid competing claims to large areas of the resource-rich Arctic seabed.” All of these issues and so many more drive the discussion of the intersection between energy and maritime risk.

In November the 2018 Maritime Risk Symposium will add another layer to the discussion of this critical international subject. The event will be held Nov. 15-16 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This event, which is co-sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Coast Guard, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Transportation Research Board will bring together government, industry and academic leaders – both domestic and international – to explore the fast-approaching new energy landscape for the maritime transportation system.  

This event is timely for a number of reasons. Recognizing the global trend toward decarbonizing the fuel mix, the symposium will address issues facing us as consumers and transporters and producers of energy, as well as our maritime resilience and environmental stewardship. Outcomes will inform and guide developing options for policy and planning, developing human capital, and recommending research and development to ensure we are prepared for this energy evolution and the new risks and opportunities it brings.
What are the specific goals of the event?

• Develop a better understanding of how energy is evolving in the maritime industry and how these developments will impact maritime operations.

• In the face of this future energy landscape, explore sufficiency in policy, regulation, human capital, marine spatial planning, response, salvage and other critical issues to ensure an efficient, safe, secure and resilient marine transportation system.

• Identify research and development needs and potential academic focus areas related to how the maritime transportation system should respond to the emerging energy landscape.

These discussions are necessary for at least two reasons. First, as technology develops – from alternative energy technologies and estimates of energy availability to ways to extract and transport it – there will be a need to explore the interdependencies on components of the system. Another big area is developing academically rigorous research questions that will provide students and academics alike an understanding of areas of research that are truly important … and need further study.

Major agenda themes for the 2018 event
Advancing technologies are rapidly changing how energy is moved through and used by the maritime transportation system. Extraction technologies have fueled the shale gas boom; advancements in renewable energy are making offshore options economically viable for hydrokinetic, wind and solar technologies; and environmental regulations are forcing shipping and ports to explore new energy approaches. To prepare for this rapidly evolving energy environment, the symposium will explore these themes among others:

• Project Evergreen. This is a U.S. Coast Guard-inspired event that will look at the global energy evolution and the associated risks for the maritime transportation system 20 years into the future. The Coast Guard conducts Evergreen events to position the service to navigate emerging strategic challenges and seize opportunities. Evergreen events are designed to develop insights into future trends, discontinuities and strategic surprises, and communicate insights to decision makers for informed policy planning. The keynote for the Evergreen portion will be presented by Retired USCG Rear Adm. Kevin Cook

• An Evolving Energy Environment in the Maritime Industry. This session will assess the impact of evolving global trends in energy use on the maritime transportation system. As energy production and use evolves in the U.S., so does its transport and uses within the marine industry. The boom in domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) production as well as environmental standards are causing vessels to convert from bunker oils to LNG for fuel. The transition to renewable energy is leading to offshore wind farms that encroach on shipping routes and fishing grounds. The diminishing use of coal and the growth in domestic oil production is altering marine transportation patterns, spurring growth in petrochemical facilities along waterfronts, and producing heavier oils that challenge traditional spill removal technologies. These changes will dramatically affect domestic and international maritime commerce as well as government oversight, security and regulatory actions. Panelists will provide industry, government and global perspectives to create a shared understanding of these emerging challenges vital to ensuring a smooth and prosperous transition into the new energy paradigm. The moderator for this panel is Chris Doane of Coast Guard Atlantic Area.

•  Maritime as a Consumer, Transporter and Producer of Energy.
This panel will focus on the understanding constraints on energy flow and how best to keep supplies moving. Even the slightest disruption of energy with the maritime transportation system can have a significant domino effect on the transfer of goods and services around the world.  Energy, the driving force of society, has reached new landmarks with new fuels and their handling requirements. Energy and fuel sources such as hydrogen fuels cells, LNG, hybrid electric, small modular reactors, wind farms (shore and offshore) and solar panels are all relatively new. Their uses for propulsion, transportation and input to a grid are complicated challenges to the maritime industry and society at large. The maritime industry is expected to use and move them safely and securely from inception to maintenance. Ports and localities are expected to prepare safe and secure storage and connector facilities with the support of their constituency and the public. These challenges and overcoming biases require dissemination of information, spread knowledge, provide training, planning, and regulations, to name a few. The Maritime as a Consumer, Transporter and Producer of Energy panel addresses these diverse topics and others that challenge the industry and society. The moderator for this panel is Capt. Eric Johansson, Maritime College, State University of New York, who is the vice chairman of the 2018 event.

•  Risk Drivers to Energy in the Maritime Environment.
Defining and quantifying risk is one of the most difficult tasks in an evolving dynamic environment. As energy technologies advance, new opportunities emerge in the maritime environment. New sources of energy production become available. Distribution channels for the import and export of energy resources adapt. Ports, intermodal carriers and vessel operators employ new processes and equipment to improve the efficiency of supply chains. Each of these factors drive risks in the maritime environment; sometimes creating new vulnerabilities and other times enabling new sources of resilience. Though the seeds of drivers of future risk can be seen in today’s technology advances and private sector investment decisions, the risks may not be actualized for several years. This panel explores drivers in energy resources and production that have in the past affected marine systems and emerging drivers that could create new opportunities and place new pressures on the maritime environment. It then will examine how these drivers are accounted for in marine planning and the implications of such changes for the maritime workforce to harness opportunities and mitigate risks from these drivers. Finally, the panel will examine ways that the maritime industry can identify signals in today’s trends to recognize the next energy breakthrough. The symposium welcomes back Dr. Henry Willis of the RAND Corporation. Dr. Willis is considered one of the top experts on maritime risk in the world.

•  Maritime Resilience with a New Energy Mix.
The maritime transportation system carries the vast majority of trade, and its ongoing operation is vital to our national and global economic welfare. Service interruptions at a port, canal or other waterway can cause ripple effects in transport logistics that have serious economic consequences. Energy plays an important role in ensuring continuity of operations both on land and at sea, and all stakeholders in the maritime environment have strong incentives to find new ways that energy can be used to improve their operational resilience to potential disruptions, either natural or man-made. This panel explores how we ensure that our maritime infrastructure is always able to deliver the services that the nation demands, with emphasis on the way in which changes in our use of energy create both challenges and opportunities for doing so. The moderator is Dave Alderson, Associate Professor of Operations Research and Director of the Center for Infrastructure Defense Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Alderson’s research focuses on the function and operation of critical infrastructures, with particular emphasis on how to invest limited resources to ensure efficient and resilient performance in the face of accidents, failures, natural disasters or deliberate attacks.

•  Environmental Stewardship: Are We Prepared for Mishaps in a New Maritime Energy Mix? The panel looks at safeguarding the marine environment as energy evolves. In response to more stringent vessel air emission regulations, the maritime industry has been investigating the use of alternative and non-conventional fuels, fuel blends and alternative technologies that meet or exceed the new standards. Fuels being investigated range from heavy and distillate blends to biofuels to liquefied natural gas. Promising technologies being researched include fuel cells and batteries. Because operational profiles vary widely within industry, there is no single fuel choice or technology that will meet the needs of all vessels. Therefore, it is expected that several variations will be used dependent upon ship specifics, cost and availability. This panel will focus on the use, environmental risk and uncertainties of alternative fuels and technologies. Panel presentations will range from an in-depth look at current and projected fuel types to identification of spill or release hazards and applicability of existing regulations. The panel will also include an industry perspective on the operational feasibility of these fuels. The panel is led by Dan Yuska from the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.

The symposium has also brought together three nationally recognized leaders as keynotes that bring a diverse perspective to the event: Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District; Bruce Walker, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity; and Dick Balzano, Deputy Maritime Administrator of Maritime Administration (MARAD). Retired USCG Vice Adm. Rob Parker returns for his fourth year as the event’s master of ceremonies and senior mentor.

The Maritime Risk Symposium will also feature a poster contest for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. The poster can focus on research that is being conducted in any aspect of maritime energy-related subjects. Students should proceed to this web site https://easychair.org/account/signin.cgi?key=77787658.Wdtx4IDOB3RecDhY  to create an Easy Chair account and submit your work.
The web site for the 2018 Maritime Risk Symposium is https://mrs2018.ornl.gov/

About the authors:  

Dr. Joe DiRenzo III is the Director of Research Partnerships at the United States Coast Guard. Dr. DiRenzo is a retired Coast Guard officer, a frequent contributor to the Marinelink family of publications, and teaches for American Military and Northcentral universities. He is the co-editor of the book “Issues in Maritime Cyber Security.”

Craig Moss is a Senior Program Manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he manages and develops homeland security research and development programs.  In this role, he monitors the direction research areas such as computation and material sciences, energy technologies, additive manufacturing are going and how they can be applied to solve complex national security challenges.  

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