Swiss based marine engine technology developer WinGD published a new white paper outlining the steps it believes will enable deep-sea shipping to decarbonize in line with IMO provisions.
he guide aims to provide shipowners with an illustration of the choices that can be made with confidence today to drastically reduce emissions, rather than waiting for the emergence of ‘silver bullet’ technologies.
The paper, ‘Navigate the Future with Confidence’, advocates a step-by-step, holistic approach to improving energy efficiency.
The low-speed marine engine will remain the core power provider for deep-sea shipping. The heart of clean propulsion is already in place and the task now is to incorporate the technologies that will help reach zero emissions: carbon-neutral fuels, electrical hybrid power sources, efficiency enhancing digital technologies and optimized ship design.
….WinGD Vice President Research & Development Dominik Schneiter said.
The use of LNG is one of the single biggest ways to reduce emissions in current vessels and will enable the use of carbon-neutral synthetic or bio-gas when it becomes available.
As explained, taking action now is the right choice as simply waiting for the availability of clean fuels won’t be enough. Other technologies also need to be added to help ships reach IMO’s 2050 target.
Decarbonization starts from the optimisation of propulsion engines and all other equipment on board, as well as overall vessel and hull design. It includes the integration of on-board energy systems and the use of hybridisation on individual ships.
At the same time smart shipping concepts will need to be adopted on a wide scale, with the aim of optimising the whole logistics chain through enhanced routing, fleet and cargo management.
The growing use of fossil LNG as a marine fuel is an important step in the right direction. But even combining this step with all the above measures, we will fall short of IMO’s ambitious 2050 targets – to reduce total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% compared to 2008 whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out, WinGD explains.
In view of typical fleet turnover times, the targeted reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping can only be achieved by means of massive decarbonisation; in other words, the early and massive adoption of net carbon-neutral fuels, either sustainably produced biofuels or synthetic fuels produced using excess renewable energy and an appropriate feedstock. No single fuel will do the job.
There is considerable promise for decarbonisation through the suite of emerging alternate fuels and the significant investment in the infrastructure to scale these fuels is a very positive sign.
Deep understanding of how these fuels interface with the engine in varying conditions is critical to ensuring the safety and stability of the fuel to then further understand how to optimise its energy efficiency.
Minimising GHG emissions from marine propulsion requires a coordinated effort from all stakeholders and WinGD is well-prepared to contribute a vital share, not only through the traditional further development of its engines but also by bringing relevant new technologies to the market as demonstrated with the introduction of X-DF technology.
…the company concluded.