Introduction: the carbon footprint of shipping
ISHY – IMPLEMENTATION OF HYBRID SHIPPING
The shipping industry currently emits 3% of all global greenhouse gases. Therefore, it is obvious that the shipping industry needs to decarbonise in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
In order to have a better understanding of the challenges the shipping industry has to face, it might be useful to give a description of the actual situation:
- The current merchant fleet emits approximately 1 billion tons C02 each year
- Insofar no action is undertaken in the shipping industry, the global share of the emissions of greenhouse gasses, produced by shipping, may reach 17% in 2050
- The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set a 50% reduction target of the emissions of greenhouse gasses by maritime transport in 2050, and it has the ambition to reach the full decarbonisation by 2100.
- Maritime shipping takes care of 75% of the external trade of the European Union and 30% of the intra-European transport of goods.
- Insofar Short Sea shipping is concerned, this mode of maritime transport represents 59% of the total sea transport of goods from and to European ports. Short Sea shipping will play an important role in the global and European supply chains. The decarbonisation of the SSS is therefore very important.
- Vessels have long operational lifetimes and are only replaced after 30/40 years
Therefore, considering this situation it is necessary that the shipping industry in Europe starts to invest in decarbonisation, searching for zero emission fuels. The family of the zero emission fuels consists of different members, including the category of biofuels, batteries and different hydrogen-based fuels, like ammonia, hydrogen and methanol. Green hydrogen, fuel cells and batteries will become important tools in order to realise the reduction of the carbon footprint of the maritime transport.
Nevertheless there are several barriers for zero-carbon fuels on board of the vessels:
- Limited levels of new built ships per year- limited incentives to retrofit or to build new ships
- Limited knowledge in the effectiveness of alternative propulsion technologies
- Lack of fuelling infrastructures
- Lack of bunkering procedures and standards
- Lack of fuel quality standards
- Lack of auxiliary equipment
- Limited knowledge about thermodynamics and fluid dynamics
- Lack of knowledge about onboard storage of some of these fuels
- Lack of conversion equipment
- Price-setting of the new fuels versus the traditional carbon fuels (lack of competitiveness of the new fuels)
- Availability of new fuels
- Lack of certification of different types of vessels, utilising the new types of fuels
- Lack of legal framework for both maritime transport as bunkering
- The supply chain of the new fuels is not mature
- Lack of acceptability of the new fuels by the different stakeholders, including political level, sponsored by the traditional oil and gas companies.
In order to tackle some of these obstacles, the ISHY project will investigate the following working-fields:
- Testing of the effectiveness of low carbon propulsion technologies
- Demonstrating the feasibility of the H2 bunkering facilities in a port
- Prepare tools to support the transition to low-carbon propulsion systems for both retrofitting and the building of new ships.