New study unveils significant market demand for low carbon shipping fuels

New study unveils significant market demand for low carbon shipping fuels

A new study from marine and energy consultancy BLUE Insight has found that more than 40 organisations are vying for a share of the $1.4 trillion low carbon shipping fuels and energy market.

However, according to the BLUE Insight Low Carbon Shipping Fuels & Energy Guide 2020, many remain in their infancy and primed for investment from institutional, private equity and private finance.

The Guide includes interviews with representatives from the companies featured, as well as wider research, and a foreward from Dr Tristan Smith – shipping’s leading authority on decarbonisation from UCL’s Energy Institute. Its findings reveal that there are a significant number of initiatives currently in progress, ranging from small, low funded R&D projects to large volumes of low carbon fuels and energy being sold and used to power ocean-going vessels. Launched in early July, the Guide is available to pre-order at BLUE Communications.

The qualitative research and analysis explores only fuels and energy with 50 per cent less well-to-wake carbon emissions than conventional fossil fuels, based on current evidence – and demonstrates the seismic shifts the shipping industry will have to undertake to meet its decarbonisation goals.

Fuels and energy covered in the BLUE Insight Guide include ammonia, hydrogen, methanol including dimethyl ether, synthetic and bio-LNG, biofuel, fuel cells, batteries and nuclear. Criteria reviewed by BLUE Insight’s research and analysis team includes the profiling of companies, projects and collaborations; finance; lifecycle analysis; maturity of fuel and energy production; scalability; infrastructure analysis and requirements; as well as safety analysis.

Adrian Tolson, Director and Lead, BLUE Insight, commented: “Some might find it surprising that there are so many initiatives and innovations that are already in progress. However, it fundamentally demonstrates – even at this relatively early stage – the scale of the challenge, and the speed of change required to meet shipping’s decarbonisation targets. And it also highlights the commercial opportunities that it will bring, particularly for the finance community looking to invest in sustainable projects.

“Shipowners and operators, and specifically those with the responsibility of developing energy procurement strategies, have a significant task ahead of them. They have to manage the post-IMO 2020 cost and operational challenges, but they also need to start thinking right now about a medium and long-term strategy that enables them to successfully evolve within a decarbonised shipping world; this Guide is designed to give them these insights and intelligence into what new sources of energy are potentially viable to ensure that they can thrive in this transforming market.”

Matthieu de Tugny, president, Bureau Veritas Marine and Energy, added: “I think that most of us accept that there are potential transition pathways to a decarbonised future for shipping. We need to continue to capture hydrodynamic and other efficiency gains, but our technology focus now, predominantly, is on the fuels and propulsion systems needed to supply the dense energy that ships need.

“The projects and initiatives described in the BLUE Insight Guide demonstrate how we, as an industry, working together, can create the shipping industry of the future – a newer, even more valuable, shipping industry. The world depends on it.”

The IMO has tasked the shipping industry with meeting emissions targets of 40 per cent less CO2 by 2040, and at least 50 per cent less by 2050, which in real terms requires the industry to reduce carbon emissions by 85 per cent when factoring in trade growth over the next three decades. A study by University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) and Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) prepared for the Global Maritime Forum for the Getting to Zero Coalition, estimates that the cumulative investment needed between 2030 and 2050 to halve shipping’s CO2 emissions amounts to approximately $1-1.4 trillion—an average of $50 billion to $70 billion annually for 20 years.

The Guide has been produced by business and strategic advisory consultancy BLUE Insight, in partnership with classification society Bureau Veritas and can be pre-ordered by clicking here.