Cutting ship CO2 emissions between Brent Perry and Stuart McNish. To listen to the full interview, click here:  

“The goal is to give the customers not just a product that works, but an infrastructure that works,” says Brent Perry, who has been a leading developer in maritime battery development for the past 25 years. Brent sat down with journalist Stuart Mcnish for the show Conversations that Matter, to discuss the future of maritime clean energy and why the infrastructure of this new energy matters to the maritime sector, as well as to cities and people in our warming world. 

Not only is the maritime shipping industry responsible for 2.5% of greenhouse gas emissions, but international shipping is positioned as a growing contributor, meaning that this percentage is only projected to increase. Recent reports on behalf of the IPCC have urged that global warming may now be escalating at a faster rate than we can move to adapt to it. “If nations don’t act quickly to slash fossil fuel emissions and halt global warming, more and more people will suffer unavoidable loss or be forced to flee their homes, creating dislocation on a global scale,” states the report. In response to this growing threat, the maritime industry has stated a goal to decarbonize by the end of the decade, but with the majority of the industry still relying on diesel as a form of energy, the question is how? 

Brent Perry’s solution to turning the industry to use clean energy is relatively simple: provide energy as a service. Shift’s PwrSwäp pay-as-you-go clean energy solution provides vessels with batteries that can be swapped and recharged. These batteries are charged using renewable energy such as “geothermal, wind, solar,” says Brent Perry. “Replacing a diesel power plant with the infrastructure onshore to manage the infrastructure on the ship, can significantly reduce the industry impact of being global.”  

This model can also significantly reduce the financial impact that is traditionally associated with going green and can actually save the industry money. Whereas most electrification requires a large upfront cost, this pay-as-you-go model allows industry to significantly reduce CAPEX.  

The pay-as-you-go electrification model also saves time in the form of money. The use of swappable pods allows ships to utilize more hours in the day by cutting out the time it would take to charge a battery on land.  

“The combination of financial impact with societal expectations makes this way of doing things more feasible. We take diesel-burning trucks off the road and replace them with a zero-emission final delivery. It is about the vehicles and the ships,” Brent tells Stuart. 

The power service model will also decrease customer risk as the pods are owned by Shift and leased out to customers, allowing customers to take on less risk. Shift makes the conversion and supplies the power, taking full responsibility for the support and infrastructure needed to support the service across countries and jurisdictions. All of this was previously the customer’s responsibility. This shift towards circular economy ownership represents the future of sustainable technology, with companies taking responsibility for the longevity of the products they are selling.  

Shift is now working with the Port of Singapore, the world’s largest port. The port is constantly backed up and makes up 50% of Singapore’s emissions. Shift will service the port with clean energy using fuel cells, power swap, and energy storage to help deliver consistency. Shift’s clean energy solution acts as a necessary intervention to the use of energy in the maritime sector, speeding up the race to zero emissions and acting as a leader in clean energy in the sector. 

This article is based on Conversations That Matter: Cutting ship CO2 emissions between Brent Perry and Stuart McNish. To listen to the full interview, click here:, and consider joining as a Patreon: .