The large-scale transition towards net zero by 2050 will, at some point (presumably nearer 2030), require a full switch to zero-carbon fuels, a new report by Danish Ship Finance explains.
ccording to the report, medium-term measures may, for some, include blend-in of carbon-neutral fuels, while most short-term measures are largely about increased fuel and energy efficiency.
The fragmented ownership landscape, combined with business models that currently foster incentives with adverse consequences for emissions, increases the need for global regulation and/or significant business model innovation. Both are likely to accelerate changes to how value is created in the industry: from the asset game to the operation of vessels.
There are several technical and operational measures that could improve vessel efficiency but have yet to be implemented despite known cost advantages. It seems to be widely accepted that individual ships could be optimised further to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30-50%.
…Danish Ship Finance notes.
Technical strategies that are independent of the propulsion system include improvements in weight, in hull via slender design and bulbous bow, rudder and propeller design and other propulsion improvements, as well as air lubrification and automated underwater monitoring and maintenance.
Further technical strategies for increasing energy efficiency are closely related to conventional propulsion and auxiliary power systems. They are focused on upgrading either through entirely new designs or retrofitting components of existing designs.
Speed remains a key operational driver of emissions
The deployment of new technologies and sensors combined with big data analytics and machine-learning helps measure emissions and spark actions to reduce individual vessels’ fuel consumption.
Still, it should be noted that parts of current fleets are operating at reduced levels of productivity (i.e. slow steaming) and that these sectors of the industry represent latent emission increases in periods when additional demand can only be served by increased speeds.