The process began in 2014 in Hamburg where over over 30 engineers, scientists and thinkers from the fields of ship-building and cutting-edge eco-technology (including renewable energy, architecture, biophilia and waste management) worked together to develop a whole-system integrated design approach. It is estimated that, cumulatively, it will achieve 20% cuts in propulsion energy, 50% cuts in electricity load and a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions in comparison with similar ships built before 2000.
Among the many experts of this pioneering project, Amory B. Lovins, cofounder and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, plays its role to the design of Peace Boat’s forthcoming Ecoship. In an interview with Peace Boat Ecoship. Dr. Lovins talks about the energy-efficient technologies which will be implemented on the Ecoship, as well as his hopes for the future of the ‘energy revolution.
As Dr. Lovins explains, the biggest use of energy is to move this ship. Therefore, by making the hull and propulsors even more sophisticated, and using very slippery materials that also keeping marine life from growing around the hull without spreading poison into the water will have a very important effect.
''The next biggest use will be running a hotel for about 1000 people. There are many good ways to use the waste heat from the engines — for example, instead of throwing away approximately half the energy, we will use almost all of it, including for making more electricity and heating and coolin'', he notes.
Ecoship is anticipated to have the biggest impact on environmental sustainability by featuring windows which let in light without heat; recovering warmth or coolness in the outgoing stale air; using waste heat rather than a shaft-driven compressor, and ; insulating the outside of the hull much better so that it can more easily maintain the right temperature inside.
''One interesting possibility for example, if the ship is in tropical areas, would be to have a radiant cooling panel above your bed which sucks heat out of the body, or to have cool water circulating under your body in the bed — it is so much more efficient to deliver comfort to the body than to the entire room or ship.'' Dr Lovins said.
Dr Lovins also listed some promising energy-saving technologies and new energy sources and concluded that the energy resolution is being driven by many considerations depending on what is important to each person. However, it is important to focus on outcomes and not motives.