Shipping industry unites for decarbonisation in the International Electric Marine Association (IMEA)

The International Electric Marine Association (IEMA) has grown to 40 members within half a year after its formation. The organisation is working towards decarbonising the marine industry across the "world's waters" and claims its reach extends across Europe to Asia and the South Pacific.

Image: Kempower

IEMA was founded in September 2023 to remove barriers to the widespread introduction of marine electrification. The website lists a range of interventions from lobbying over enabling access to capital and big data to harmonisation and networking advances.

With concrete project information remaining to be seen, IMEA listed current activities on LinkedIn this week. In conclusion, members work towards elevated data exchange between the sector and critical stakeholders such as ports, onshore infrastructure, energy companies, and local municipalities.

Technical working groups focus on what IMEA considers the key priorities of safety, interface, and infrastructure, establishing robust standards, best practices, protocols, and certifications to instil confidence in safe and sustainable marine electrification.

The membership is an illustrious group of renowned electrification champions such as boat builders X Shore, Mobyfly and Tyde, infrastructure specialist Aqua Superpower, marine certification agency HPiVS, and electric motor manufacturers Evoy and Vita Power. Non-marine exclusive members include the battery experts from Kreisel Electric and Kempower and Tritium as infrastructure specialists. 

IMEA emphasises online that it promotes regional inclusivity and accommodates companies of all sizes “to facilitate the broadest possible adoption of cutting-edge technologies and scalable solutions”.

To become a member of the IMEA costs 1,500 dollars for companies with corporate memberships starting from $10,000 per year.

Adria Jover, President of IEMA, calls it a “collaborative approach” to join members in one ecosystem. “We do this because we know there is not just one solution to challenges this new industry faces, and we need to work together.”

Echoing this sentiment, Nathan Baker, CTO of electric boat manufacturer Seabird Technologies, said they joined “to be part of the industry voice for electric marine, and together we’re louder”.

Alex Bamberg, CEO of Aqua Superpower and one of IEMA’s founding members, highlighted the importance of supporting infrastructure for accelerating electric boating. “We understand that influencing and advocating for government legislation and grants will also accelerate this. Being part of IEMA ensures that safe and viable solutions are achieved more quickly.”

The shipping sector used to be underrepresented in global climate agreements, while counting as the sixth-largest greenhouse gas emitter if it were a country, according to the World Bank.

The first accord was forged in 2018 at the London meeting of the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO). The 173 members (with Russia, Saudi Arabia and the USA in opposition) agreed to reduce emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050 from 2008 levels.

They revised the Green House Gas strategy last year, now including the ambition to reach net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping faster, that is, by or around 2050.

There is also a commitment to ensure the uptake of alternative zero and near-zero GHG fuels by 2030, as well as milestones for international shipping to reach net-zero GHG emissions for 2030 (by at least 20%, striving for 30%) and 2040 (by at least 70%, striving for 80%).

As for the IMEA, it will assist the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona on 10-12 April with its own satellite event. The first annual members meeting will take place at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge from 1-6 July this year.,


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