DNV Maritime Forecast to 2050: Flexibility is key

According to the latest edition of DNV‘s Maritime Forecast to 2050, the shipping industry will find it challenging to secure enough supply of carbon-neutral fuels. Thus, industry stakeholders should be flexible and look at various options to reduce emissions.

According to DNV, to meet the anticipated demand of 17 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) annually by 2030, the maritime sector needs to access a staggering 30-40% of the projected worldwide carbon-neutral fuel supply. Shipowners must therefore focus beyond fuels, in particular on what can be done now to achieve energy efficiencies and carbon emission reductions.

Energy efficiency measures and technology

To overcome decarbonization challenges, DNV finds that the sector can adopt operational energy efficiency measures such as air lubrication systems and wind assisted propulsion. The latter has already been installed on 28 large vessels, delivering fuel savings of between 5-9% to date. The potential when retrofitted on existing ships can reach 25%.

Key findings:

  • A fuel technology transition is already underway, with half the ordered tonnage capable of using liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or methanol in dual-fuel engines, compared to one third of the tonnage on order last year.
  • For ships in operation, 6.5% of tonnage can now operate on alternative fuels, compared to 5.5% last year.
  • The uptake of methanol and LPG is also starting to show in the statistics together with the first hydrogen-fuelled newbuilds.
  • There are currently several ongoing demonstration projects for ammonia-fuelled ships, and a growing pipeline of ammonia-fuelled ships soon to hit the order book.

In addition, technologies such as onboard carbon capture and storage and nuclear propulsion can address the competition for sustainable biomass and renewable electricity, DNV supplies.

Credit: DNV

Securing greener fuel supply is critical. However, focusing on fuels alone can distract us from making an impact this decade and ambitious future declarations are not good enough. What we need is tangible actions that will reduce emissions. Energy efficiency measures can deliver decarbonization results now and towards 2030.

… said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO DNV Maritime

How IMO and EU regulatory changes as well as US and Chinese policies that may impact maritime globally

  • 2023 has seen significant regulatory developments by the IMO, with the goal of reaching net zero by 2050, and by the EU, with new legislation. Policies in the US and China may impact the maritime sector globally.
  • Well-to-wake greenhouse gas emissions and fuel sustainability credentials become important to avoid unintended emission increases in other sectors.
  • Some shipping companies now offer net-zero emission services in response to cargo owners needing to decarbonize their operations.
  • A book-and-claim system could speed uptake of carbon-neutral fuels, enlarging the market by allowing those with no access to physical fuel products to buy reduction claims

Our latest report outlines several energy efficiency measures that can deliver decarbonization results now. It emphasises the need for the maritime sector to adopt a holistic approach to ensure a strong evolution of regulations and technologies, as well as long-term security of fuel supply

… concluded Eirik Ovrum, Principal Consultant in DNV Maritime, and Lead Author of the Maritime Forecast