The energy efficiency gap in shipping - barriers to improvement
Paper in proceedings, 2011
The potential for increased energy efficiency in shipping is evident. Still, ship owners appear reluctant to act on these seemingly cost-efficient measures. This situation is seen in many sectors and is commonly called an "energy-efficiency gap". Decades of research in other sectors have focused on developing taxonomy of barriers using a multitude of research frameworks; from mainstream neo--classical economics, to organizational theory and social psychology. Research has been directed to informing policy makers as well as managers of firms. In this article, this research tradition will be put into the shipping context through interviews and a review of existing literature. Some examples of barriers are discussed in shipping, related to imperfect and asymmetric information as well as to power structures in organizations. Implications for policy makers include the broadening of the role of governments into being a provider of information. Managers of shipping firms are encouraged to look through their organizations in search of principal agent problems and power structures and possibly strive towards organizational change.