Maritime environmental performance indicators for urban waterways in Amsterdam

F. A.G. Jacobs, K. Visser, D. Stapersma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Owing to new regulations starting from 2025, all commercial canal boats have to comply to zero local emission standards in Amsterdam. It is therefore vital that a clear emission indicator is made available for vessels with a varying operational profile, such as canal boats. In this paper, it is argued that current indicators, such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index, are not suitable for these (passenger) vessels. This paper proposes environmental performance indicators that can quantify emissions, (non-dimensional) energy and fuel usage based on an operational profile set in the design phase. This profile includes part load operation and auxiliary consumers and it can compare new designed concepts with current baseline vessels based on the ‘benefit for society’ of different vessel types. In the proposed environmental performance indicators, several operational modes can be defined, in contrast with the currently proposed Energy Efficiency Design Index, which is a point index at 75% of installed power. To gauge not only local emissions but also global emissions, the environmental performance indicator methodology is used to determine a minimum efficiency from any power generation method. This minimum efficiency follows from a comparison between baseline vessels and concepts that are more energy efficient and emission friendly. The proposed environmental performance indicators were validated using measurements on typical propulsion configurations of canal boats in Amsterdam. Three full electric concepts were designed and compared with the measured baseline vessels. As full electric concepts do not have local emissions, the method of power generation must satisfy the requirement to have less global emissions than the mechanical baseline. Furthermore, an energy efficiency of at least 33% is calculated from a fossil-fuelled land-based power plant (including transport) to the boundary from quay to boat to be required for newly designed electric concepts to be more energy efficient than the mechanical baseline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-275
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • canal boat
  • Emissions
  • energy chain index
  • fuel consumption
  • mechanical index
  • passenger vessel
  • urban city centre


Dive into the research topics of 'Maritime environmental performance indicators for urban waterways in Amsterdam'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this