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Shipping will need a ‘staggering’ 30%-40% of global CO2-neutral fuel by 2030 – DNV

Onboard carbon capture and nuclear are ‘technically and economically feasible options’, adds Maritime Forecast to 2050

Shipping will need 30%-40% of estimated global carbon neutral fuels in 2030, class society DNV’s latest forecast estimates. Up to 750,000 people will need retraining for the green transition by 2050

SHIPPING will need 30%-40% of estimated global carbon-neutral fuel supplies by 2030, class society DNV has warned in its latest Maritime Forecast to 2050.

The industry today uses 3% of total energy, including fossil fuels — about 280m tonnes of oil equivalent (toe). But it will demand a far bigger share of future renewable fuels, making competition with other industries another supply challenge.

DNV estimated there will be 44m toe–62m toe of carbon-neutral fuels made worldwide in 2030, of which shipping will need 17m toe.

“It’s really is quite a staggering share,” DNV Maritime chief executive Knut Orbeck-Nilssen said.

DNV based the figure on estimates for probabilities of different green plans, adding not all of these would be realised and certainly not by 2030.

And while the industry was seeing a technology transition as more dual-fuel ships were ordered, there was “no real fuel transition yet” with 93.5% of ships still run on conventional fuel (and all but 0.1% run on fossil fuels).

Almost half of new orders are conventionally fuelled at 48.7%. Of the 51.3% remaining, 40% are LNG ships, 8% methanol and 2.2% LPG. Some 0.8% are battery-hybrid powered.

DNV identified 2,200 projects into carbon-neutral fuel worldwide, most without a final investment decision.

“The fuel technology transition is definitely underway, but there is no real fuel transition happening at this point in time,” Orbeck-Nilssen said.

DNV again advised operators to cut emissions by making ships more efficient.

It estimated 5%-15% cuts were possible through hydrodynamic measures such as hull coatings, air lubrication, cleaning and hull shape. Machinery changes such as engine de-rating, efficiency gains and waste-heat recovery could net another 5%-20% and logistics and digitalisation another 20%.

Possible gains from carbon capture and storage were between 0% and 90%.

Carbon capture and nuclear

The forecast looked at carbon capture from ships and was nuclear propulsion, based on a feasibility study modelling a 15,000 teu containership benchmarked against fuel oil, LNG, methanol and ammonia.

CCS on board was feasible for a large containership storing 4,000 cu m CO2 on board, offloading the CO2 twice per trip Asia-Europe and capturing 70% of the CO2 a year.

It could compete if the ship uses no more than 15% extra energy to capture the CO2, and if the cost of offloading, transporting, and sequestering the CO2 can be kept below $40 per tonne.


Source: DNV

There are 160 mostly naval nuclear-powered ships today and nuclear propulsion can compete if reactor costs are in the lower range of historical costs for land-based nuclear power plants.

But barriers include nuclear non-proliferation, developing reactors suitable for commercial use, regulation and public perception.

Onboard CCS and nuclear propulsion would also avoid the problem of competition with other energy-intensive industries such as steel making.


Source: DNV

Whichever the technology, large-scale training would be needed; as many as 750,000 people would need upskilling for the green transition by 2050.

Orbeck-Nilssen said the International Maritime Organization’s new targets of 20% reduction in well-to-wake greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 70% by 2040 represented a “tremendous acceleration” compared with its previous targets.

But these targets hung in the balance. It was fine to have high ambitions but the industry had to deliver on them, Orbeck-Nilssen said.

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