The Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation appraises the readiness levels of seven key candidate fuels and energy sources (ammonia, biodiesel (FAME), electrification, hydrogen, methane, methanol, and nuclear energy), from perspectives of technology, investment and community readiness.
n particular, Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor report presents insights derived from the latest update of readiness levels, offering an overview of trends, priorities and recommended actions to drive the adoption of zero-carbon fuels in the shipping industry. According to the report, overall, there has been an increase in readiness levels scattered across the key fuels and their supply chain stages, notably ammonia, methanol and hydrogen.
Although technology readiness across the supply chain is increasing for key candidate fuels, significant barriers to adoption remain in terms of investment and community readiness. Hence the need for collective action across stakeholders in the industry to drive forward the transition.
… said Amelia Hipwell, Decarbonisation Innovation Manager, LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub
Government strategies for decarbonisation in driving land-side infrastructure expansion
These investments and support at government level have the potential to contribute to fuel availability, port infrastructure and regulatory advancements that will benefit shipping. There has been an increase in national hydrogen energy strategies worldwide, with major countries such as the UK, China and India actively investing in renewable energy and land-side hydrogen infrastructure.
However, for methane, concerns over methane slip are affecting technology readiness level (TRL). This challenge is being tackled by Safetytech Accelerator-led Methane Abatement in Maritime innovation initiative (MAMII) which is working to identify solutions and mechanisms for capturing, calculating and managing methane slip emissions, and best practices will be shared with industry to tackle this challenge.
Additionally, community readiness levels (CRL) of methane and methanol production has been impacted by uncertainties around the scale-up of sustainably sourced carbon.
The Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor update also found that demand for biodiesel has increased, although long term availability of sustainable biofuel feedstock remains uncertain. Efforts to cultivate third-generation feedstocks (characterised by high yield and rapid growth rates) like macroalgae are underway, which can be used for advanced biofuels production.
Key priority areas to drive the transition forward
Bellow are five key priority areas have been identified by the report, which must be addressed to drive forward the transition to zero-carbon fuels:
#1 Developing demand profiles
To minimise investment risks, stimulate supply chain interest, and create commercially viable business cases for zero-emission shipping, the industry needs to establish transparent demand profiles, while also considering fuel demand in relation to competing sectors sharing the same feedstocks and energy supply chains.
#2 Sustainable resource scale-up
According to the report, ensuring a sustainable scale-up of resources is paramount to enable adequate fuel production for future demand.
#3 Policy consistency
Achieving stable and consistent policy development and enforcement across the value chain and globally is essential for attracting investments and ensuring a smooth transition.
4. Research, development, and education
Fostering research, development, and educational initiatives is crucial for the safe and sustainable adoption of zero carbon fuels, the report notes.
5. Technology advancement
The pace of technology development must be maintained and accelerated to meet evolving industry needs. These priorities are industry-wide. In the report, specific supply chain actors have been identified who can act upon these priorities.
However, tackling these cannot be achieved through individual efforts or action in isolation within the shipping industry. Considerations for addressing priority areas include:
- Collaboration within the shipping industry
- Cross-sector collaboration
- Transparency and knowledge sharing