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DNV GL outlines shipping fuel mix in 2050

08 Jan 2018

The types of marine fuel used for the shipping industry in 2050 will be vastly different from current choices, says the CEO of classification society DNV GL – Maritime.

“The fuel mix that we see beginning to shift today, will be much more diverse in 2050. Oil will no longer be the overwhelming choice for trading vessels,” said Knut Orbeck-nilssen in the organisation’s Energy Transition Outlook – Maritime report.

“Natural gas will step up to become the second-most widely used fuel, with a third of the world’s fleet, and new low-carbon alternatives will proliferate, supplying nearly a quarter of the fleet.

“The continuing pressure to reduce emissions to air and the growing drive toward decarbonisation, shapes the fleet of 2050 in important ways, particularly in the choice of fuels.”

According to the report, 47% of energy for shipping will be from oil-based fuels by 2050. The use of of gas in the fuel mix will rise to 32%. Carbon neutral energy sources, such as biofuel and electricity will power more than a fifth of shipping.

Other predictions over the period 2015–2050 in the DNV GL report include:

  • Fuel consumption per vessel will decline 18% on average due to energy-efficiency measures, mainly hull-form and machinery improvements
  • Vessel speeds will decline by about 5% on average, reducing fuel consumption by 10%
  • Electricity from batteries will power a third of ships, mostly smaller vessels accounting for about a thirtieth of the total energy demand from shipping
  • LNG and LPG will account for 32% of total shipping energy use, and biofuel about 18%
  • Vessel utilization will increase in all segments: about 25% for deep sea trades except bulk, around 5% for deep sea bulk, and some 20% for short sea ships
  • The average size of deep sea vessels will rise 40% for LNG tankers (due to more deep sea vessels), 30% for container and other cargo, and 10% for bulkers

Photo credit: DNV GL
Publication date: 8 January, 2018

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