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IMO: Uptake of alternative fuels in the spotlight at roundtable meeting

05 Mar 2019

The barriers and incentives relating to the uptake of alternative fuels in the shipping industry were in the spotlight at a roundtable meeting of IMO’s Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) at IMO Headquarters, London in late February.

Experts from across the maritime industry were brought together to discuss successful incentives in other transport sectors and how they might be applied to shipping and ports.

The group discussed economic, technological and institutional barriers that are hindering greater market penetration of cleaner fuels. These include capital and operating costs, uncertainty over life-cycle emissions, lack of operational experience in the use of new fuels, onboard fuel storage, availability of fueling infrastructure as well as legal or regulatory barriers.

Possible incentive schemes for the maritime sector, as well as potential challenges in their application, were considered at the roundtable. Examples of such schemes were given, including an incentivization scheme in the United Kingdom to promote the uptake of renewables as well as lessons learned from the Norwegian NOx Fund.

Participants deliberated how ship owners could be incentivized to use alternative fuels, as well as incentives for alternative fuel supply and infrastructure development. The group collated lessons learned and key principles that could be considered for any future incentive schemes for the maritime sector.

The work undertaken at the roundtable specifically contributes to one of the short-term measures defined in IMO’s Initial GHG Strategy, on “incentives for first movers to develop and take up new technologies”. The Strategy recognises that technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieving zero-carbon shipping.

Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Published: 5 March, 2019


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