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DNV updates ‘Maritime Forecast to 2050’ report with 24 marine fuel transition scenarios

11 Oct 2022

Classification society DNV on Tuesday (11 October) said its Maritime Forecast to 2050 report has utilised an enhanced GHG Pathway Model to build and run 24 scenarios quantifying trends in the bunker fuel transition ahead for the shipping sector.

“Our 6th Maritime Forecast to 2050 report (the report) uses an enhanced version of our GHG Pathway Model to build and run an updated portfolio of scenarios to explore the fuel transition ahead,” said Eirik Ovrum, Maritime Principal Consultant at DNV and lead author of Maritime Forecast to 2050.

“We show that the future fuel mix is highly dependent on underlying assumptions, notably regarding fuel prices and policy ambitions. Shipowners therefore need transition plans that reflect the uncertain future, and flexible fuel solutions that provide robustness and reduce carbon risk.”

Researchers have applied six “fuel family” variations, simulating the availability of: sustainable biomass to produce biofuels (e.g. bio-MGO); renewable electricity to produce electrofuels (e.g. e-MGO); and fossil fuels with CCS (i.e. “blue” fuels). For each of these three fuel families, we assign a “High” or “Very high” fuel-price advantage to one fuel family over the others on a basis described in the report.

They explore three cost variations for specific bunker fuel types, in which changes in the relative cost differences between fuels within each family are explored (as described fully in the report).

“In most of our scenarios, around 5% of the energy use in 2030 is from carbon-neutral fuels. Under IMO ambitions, this grows to around 20% in 2040, depending on the scenario. In Decarbonization by 2050, the share of carbon-neutral fuels reaches 40% to 50% in 2040,” Ovrum explains.

Some carbon-neutral fuels dominate the 2050 energy mix in at least one scenario, namely bio-MGO and e-MGO, bio-LNG, blue ammonia and e-ammonia, and bio-methanol.

Among carbon-neutral fuels, the share of carbon-neutral drop-in fuels (bio-MGO, e-MGO, bio-LNG, e-LNG) is greater in IMO ambitions scenarios than in Decarbonization by 2050 scenarios.

Collaboration is key to alternative fuels availability

“The initial availability in selected regions has ripple effects beyond their borders, and we have seen this pattern before in the uptake of LNG and batteries in shipping,” recalls Ovrum. “We expect similar effects for other carbon-neutral fuels assigned favourable conditions in the scenario design.”

Driven by procurement requirements from governments, uptake of LNG and batteries was assisted by infrastructure first being developed locally, then nationally, then regionally and globally, adds Ovrum.

It illustrates that the public sector can be an important enabler for phasing in new low-emission technology in shipping, he stressed. “The challenges and opportunities illustrated in our modelling can only be solved by strong alliances among the sector’s stakeholders and with other industries competing for carbon-neutral fuels.”

Related: DNV urges cross-industry collaboration to overcome ‘ultimate hurdle’ of fuel availability
Related: DNV: Hydrogen at risk of being the great missed opportunity of the energy transition
Related: DNV introduces ‘decarbonisation stairway’ model helps shipowners navigate newbuild dilemmas
Related: DNV: Green ammonia a ‘key ingredient’ to decarbonise maritime industry
Related: DNV selected to lead ‘pioneering’ ammonia bunkering safety study in Singapore
Related: DNV Decarbonisation Insights: Singapore’s pathway to Net Zero and the role of Ammonia


Photo credit: DNV
Published: 11 October, 2022

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