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Decarbonisation technologies in shipping and the question of transition fuels

Decarbonisation technologies in shipping and the question of transition fuels

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The chapter examines different decarbonisation scenarios in shipping with a view of discussing some of the core technologies enabling the transition towards zero-emission propulsion for vessels. To achieve this, the chapter is structured as follows: the first part of the chapter provides a brief commentary on the historical context of the evolution of transition fuels. This provides a historical perspective of the development of the technologies around alternative fuels over time and therefore how existing pathways to decarbonisation relate to past thinking about the issue. The following section provides an overview of the current emission targets set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and other international organisations for the maritime sector. This is important to frame the discussion and also understand how significant and ambitious the targets currently set actually are, particularly for an industry that has in the past been very slow to change compared to what are arguably more dynamic service sectors such as aviation. This is in fact changing very rapidly but is a recent phenomenon. The third part of the chapter translates the previous internationally set targets into scenarios developed by a number of reports on the topic. The scenarios developed by DNV-GL in their 2020 forecast for the maritime sector are discussed as an example of the lack of certainty over the role played by transition fuels. The fourth part of the chapter moves on to discuss three areas of disagreement or debate around the role played by transition fuels to meet these targets. The first is the role of scrubbers. The second is the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transition fuel. The third is the viability of other types of fuels in the future.

Chapter Contents:

  • 12.1 Introduction
  • 12.2 Historical pathways to alternative fuels
  • 12.3 Decarbonisation targets for the sector
  • 12.3.1 IMO targets
  • 12.3.2 European Union Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)
  • 12.3.3 International multilateral banks
  • 12.4 Decarbonisation scenarios
  • 12.4.1 Decarbonisation pathways by regulation
  • 12.4.2 Scrubbers and retrofitting
  • 12.4.3 Low-sulphur fuel/very low sulphur fuel oil/ultralow sulphur fuel
  • 12.4.3.1 Biofuels and alternative fuels
  • 12.5 Conclusions
  • References

Inspec keywords: fuel processing industries; marine propulsion; fuel; air pollution control

Other keywords: commercial challenges; historical context; scrubbers; regulatory challenges; zero- emission propulsion; decarbonisation technologies; maritime sector; shipping; DNV-GL scenarios; liquefied natural gas; transition fuels; International Maritime Organisation targets

Subjects: Ship building industry; Fuel processing industry; Atmosphere (environmental science); Fossil fuels; Environmental issues

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