BILATERAL RELATIONS | THE INITIATIVES

 ELEctrification of Coastal TRAnsport in Greece

(ELECTRA – GR)

In alignment with the European Parliament’s Green Deal Decision and the “Fit for 55” package, the University of the Aegean (Department of Shipping Trade and Transport – University of the Aegean) in cooperation with the University of Southern-Eastern Norway (University of South-Eastern Norway (usn.no)) is embarking on an innovative study of the coastal shipping sector. This initiative aims to showcase a sustainable pathway for energy transition by incorporating environmentally friendly energy technologies, drawing on the proven expertise from Norway’s experiences in the North Sea.

The predominant ferry connections within the European Union, accounting for nearly 75% in the 2020 case, occur between ports within the same country. Transport is facilitated by national and European operators, and Greece, ranking second in European passenger transportation alongside Italy, contributes to 35% of the total share of passengers in European ports. Given Greece’s reliance on maritime networks for territorial, economic, and social cohesion, the integration of advanced technology becomes pivotal in simultaneously reducing environmental and economic costs.

The geographical configuration of Greece emphasizes the importance of a maritime network, making the implementation of advanced technology crucial for achieving sustainable development and enhancing the cohesion of the islands. The University of the Aegean’s project focuses on capacity building, leveraging Norwegian expertise to identify optimal methods for transitioning the coastal shipping system to a more sustainable operation. This involves the introduction of pure electric and/or hybrid vessels. Simultaneously, the project explores the acceptance of proposed transition methods by social partners within the Greek shipping industry. 

With a budget of 70,000 EUR, the project is funded by the EEA/Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme. This initiative holds the promise of not only meeting energy-saving targets but also fostering a greener and more economically viable future for coastal shipping in the European Union.

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