DNV publish insights into decarbonisation of shipping

October 3, 2022 /

The pressure is on for the maritime industry to decarbonise. To help navigate these complex challenges, DNV has gathered up-to-date information to help turn uncertainty into confidence. They have published their Maritime Forecast to 2050 which outlines their findings, some of which are detailed below:

Newbuild vessels are increasingly being ordered ready to run on alternative fuels, with LNG dominant for now.

Substantial investment is going intoresearching safe and economically feasible alternative carbon-neutral fuels and into developing fuel technologies. But this will count for little if the industry and its stakeholders do not collaborate to overcome the ultimate hurdle, fuel availability.

Already by 2030, 5% of the energy for shipping should come from carbon-neutral fuels.

This requires huge investments in onboard technologies and onshore infrastructure. Navigating the options is complex. There should be a diverse future energy mix of carbon neutral
and fossil fuels, with the latter gradually phased out by 2050.

To reach full decarbonisation by 2050, the fuel infrastructure needs to deliver around 270 million tonnes of alternative fuels.

To read the full report please visit their website here.

The knock on effect of carbon free fuels is that this will push up the price of transporting freight, costs that will be passed on to the carriers’ customers. Shipping needs a big upskilling. It is possible to generate carbon-neutral versions of conventional fuel oils using a supply of captured carbon, or biogenic sources of carbon emissions like Maersk is proposing for its e-methanol-powered ships.

DNV predicts that widespread electrification will diminish the global energy demand, overall. CEO Remy Eriksen explained that electrified propulsion methods were “close to four times more efficient than a combustion engine”.

Mr Eriksen also predicted that the war in Ukraine would have the net result of speeding up the transition to renewable energy.

“Electrification will grow from around 18% today to 38% to 40%. We are moving toward a world which spends less of its GDP on energy,” he said, adding, in reference to Russia, “and is less vulnerable to supply shocks”.

Carbon-free fuels that offer the benefits of oil, gas, and coal need to be developed and deployed. Two of the most promising options are hydrogen and ammonia. An assortment of technologies suitable for use in the transportation sector and the power sector can convert hydrogen and ammonia into energy.

2050 seems a long way off near the end of 2022, but putting processes in place now mean that reaching full decarbonisation by then could be achieved with this model.