Zero Emission Vessels 2030 study released

Dec 15 2017


Lloyd's Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) have published ‘Zero Emission Vessels 2030’.

This new study aims to demonstrate the viability of zero emission vessels (ZEVs).

 

The first milestone in the IMO greenhouse gas (GHG) roadmap is approaching -  MEPC 72 in April, 2018 - which will determine whether an ambitious reduction strategy in line with the Paris Agreement can be delivered. To achieve this, ZEVs will need to be entering the fleet by 2030 and form a significant proportion of newbuilds from then on.

 

Although none of the ZEVs are forecast to be more competitive than conventional shipping by 2030, the technology options are evolving rapidly and it’s possible that over the next 10 years the gap could reduce even further than this study estimates, LR said. If this gap does not close then there may be a need for regulatory intervention in the near future, to drive the viability compared to conventional fossil fuels.

 

The report assesses seven technology options for ZEVs, applied to five different case study ship types across three different regulatory and economic scenarios. These options consist of various combinations of battery, synthetic fuels and biofuel for the on board storage of energy, coupled with either a fuel cell and motor, internal combustion engine; or a motor for the conversion of that energy store into the mechanical and electrical energy required for propulsion and auxiliary services.

 

Component costs are also considered. Fuel cells, batteries and hydrogen storage could all reduce significantly, especially if they become important components of another sector’s decarbonisation, or if action taken during shipping’s transition assists with the technology’s development. 

 

From preliminary conversations with shipowners, it was clear that the key considerations would be around wanting options that were viable at a moderate carbon price (eg $50 per tonne CO2) and without too great an increase to the ship’s capital cost. It was also clear that the impact of the CO2 emissions must not just be moved upstream, to the electricity generation or fuel production process.

 

None of the zero-emission options in their current specifications completely satisfy the shipowner requirements, with the most significant gap identified being on voyage (fuel) costs.

 

Katharine Palmer, LR’s global sustainability manager, said: “There is no doubt that decarbonisation is a huge challenge for our sector and that we all have a clear responsibility to ensure actions are taken to drive our operational emissions to zero at a pace matching actions taken across the rest of the world and other industry sectors.

 

“By assessing different decarbonisation options for different ship types, we identify the drivers that need to be in place to make them a competitive solution and we aim to show the opportunity for a successful and low-cost decarbonisation pathway for shipping,” she said.

 

UCL’s Tristan Smith, added: “This report demonstrates the potential solutions for shipping’s zero emissions transition. By sharing the findings, we hope it can provide inspiration and focus for shipping’s collective efforts to ensure zero emissions happen swiftly and with minimal cost and disruption to trade."

 



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