Barriers to improving energy efficiency in short sea shipping: an action research case study
Journal article, 2014

Increased energy efficiency will be paramount in mitigating CO2 emissions from shipping. Paradoxically, previous research has shown that a substantial amount of measures, that typically increase energy efficiency, should be cost-efficient to implement. This is often explained in literature in terms of barriers in markets, institutions and organizations. This article is the first of a series of articles from a joint industry project aiming at understanding good energy management practices. It explores barriers to energy efficiency in shipping through a case study of a short sea shipping company in their process to improve their approach to managing work with energy efficiency. An action research approach was chosen to contribute to better practice as well as knowledge in the research community. The study shows that work with energy efficiency was not straightforward, and several challenge areas could be discerned: project management capabilities, ship-shore communication, division of responsibilities, access to performance measurements, and competence in energy efficiency. The action research approach gave rich insight and new perspectives were gained on the traditional barrier discourse.

ship energy efficiency management plan

Energy efficiency gap

action research

energy management

short sea shipping


Hannes Johnson

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Division of Maritime Operations

Mikael Johansson

Det Norske Veritas (DNV)

Karin Andersson

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Division of Maritime Operations

Journal of Cleaner Production

0959-6526 (ISSN)

Vol. 66 317-327

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Environmental Management

Other Social Sciences

Marine Engineering



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