MRS Symposium

Enabling Maritime Commerce – The Energy Perspective

WHEN Nov 14-16, 2018
WHERE Oak Ridge, TN Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Co-Hosts: U.S. Coast Guard, National Academy of Science – Transportation Research Board, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The 2018 Maritime Risk Symposium brings together government, industry, and academic leaders – both domestic and international – to explore the fast-approaching new energy landscape for the maritime transportation system. Recognizing the global trend toward decarbonizing the fuel mix, the symposium will address issues facing us as consumers, transporters, and producers of energy, as well as our maritime resilience and environmental stewardship. Outcomes will inform and guide our options for policy and planning, developing human capital, and recommending research and development to ensure we are prepared for this energy evolution and the new risks and opportunities it brings.


  • Develop a better understanding of how energy is evolving in the maritime industry and how these developments will impact maritime operations.
  • In the face of this future energy landscape, explore sufficiency in policy, regulation, human capital, marine spatial planning, response, salvage, and other critical issues to ensure an efficient, safe, secure, and resilient marine transportation system.
  • Identify research and development needs and potential academic focus areas related to how the maritime transportation system should respond to the emerging energy landscape.

Major Agenda Themes

Advancing technologies are rapidly changing how energy is moved through and used by the maritime transportation system. Extraction technologies have fueled the shale gas boom; advancements in renewable energy are making offshore options economically viable for hydrokinetic, wind, and solar technologies; and environmental regulations are forcing shipping and ports to explore new energy approaches. To prepare for this rapidly evolving energy environment, the symposium will explore these themes:

Project Evergreen

Global energy evolution and the associated risks for the maritime transportation system: A look 20 years into the future.

An Evolving Energy Environment in the Maritime Industry

Assessing the impact of evolving global trends in energy use on the maritime transportation system.

Maritime as a Consumer, Transporter, and Producer of Energy

Understanding constraints on energy flow and how best to keep supplies moving.

Risk Drivers to Energy in the Maritime Environment

Understanding and maintaining proper security to address future energy trends in the maritime industry.

Maritime Resilience with a New Energy Mix

Ensuring maritime industry capability with a new energy mix.

Environmental Stewardship: Are we Prepared for Mishaps in a New Maritime Energy Mix

Safeguarding the marine environment as energy evolves.

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