Lloyd’s Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) have released “Zero-Emission Vessels Transition Pathways.”
The study, according to LR, aims to show what is needed to enable the transition, both at the ship and supply infrastructure level, to deliver zero-emission vessels (ZEVs) that are crucial to achieve the IMO’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Strategy 2050 ambition.
The new study seeks to address key questions about ZEVs such as: what needs to happen between now and in the next three decades for ship deployment? And what needs to happen within this period to develop the supply infrastructure?
The study looks at the key milestones, barriers and enablers over the specified time frame, and considers cost implications, operating profile and how policy measures such as carbon pricing could influence the outcomes.
All pathways explored by the study will achieve the IMO’s ambition of at least 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050 and go beyond to show that zero-carbon is possible, LR stated.
The most significant decade is said to be from 2020 to 2030, stressing the urgency for early action. This is partially because there is still uncertainty when choosing one fuel, one technology and one route and therefore this decade will need to see full-scale pilots and prototypes, the development of policy, standards and rules, and will be characterized by first adopters driven by consumer pressure, LR stated.
Solutions may include batteries in short-sea markets, or if used as hybrids, and shore power supply will play an important role in reducing the dependency on fossil fuels. Easy to store zero or low-carbon fuels (for example sustainable biofuel and methanol) may also be an attractive solution as existing infrastructure and machinery can be used to ease the transition.
From 2030 on, the evolution of shipping’s fuel mix is closely linked to the evolution of the wider energy system, according to LR, so a clear signal needs to be given to the potential fuel producers.