UCL Energy Institute


Defining decarbonisation pathway for shipping - Zero Emission Vessels 2030 study released

11 December 2017

‘Zero Emission Vessels 2030’, study aiming to demonstrate the viability of Zero Emissions vessels (ZEVs), was released today by Lloyds Register and UCL-Energy partnership UMAS

Energy Research

Lloyd's Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) have today released ‘Zero Emission Vessels 2030’, a new study that aims to demonstrate the viability of zero emission vessels (ZEVs) – identifying  what  needs to be in place to make them a competitive solution for decarbonisation.

The first milestone in the IMO greenhouse gas (GHG) Roadmap is approaching: MEPC 72 in April 2018. The world is watching to see if an ambitious reduction strategy in line with the Paris Agreement can be delivered. To achieve this ambition, ZEVs will need to be entering the fleet in 2030 and form a significant proportion of newbuilds from then on.

Although none of the ZEVs are estimated to be more competitive than conventional shipping by 2030, the technology options are evolving rapidly and it’s possible that over the next 10 years the gap could reduce even further than this study estimates. If this gap does not close then there may be a need for regulatory intervention in the near future, to drive the viability compared to conventional fossil fuels.

This new report assesses seven technology options for ZEVs, applied to five different case study ship types across three different regulatory and economic scenarios. These options consist of various combinations of battery, synthetic fuels and biofuel for the onboard storage of energy, coupled with either a fuel cell and motor, internal combustion engine; or a motor for the conversion of that energy store into the mechanical and electrical energy required for propulsion and auxiliary services.

The costs of some of the components considered: fuel cells, batteries and hydrogen storage could all reduce significantly, especially if they become important components of another sector’s decarbonisation, or if action taken during shipping’s transition assists with the technology’s development. 

For those in shipping with niche access to a low-cost supply of zero-emission fuel or energy sources, or an ability to pass on a voyage cost premium to a supply chain that values zero-emission services, the gap may already be closed.

From preliminary conversations with shipowners, it was clear that the key considerations would be around wanting options that were viable at a moderate carbon price (e.g. $50/tonne CO2) and without too great an increase to the capital cost of the ship. It was also clear that the impact of the CO2 emissions must not just be moved upstream, to the electricity generation or fuel production process.

None of the zero-emission options in their current specifications completely satisfy the shipowner requirements, with the most significant gap identified being on voyage (fuel) costs.

Katharine Palmer, LR’s Global Sustainability Manager, said:

There is no doubt that decarbonisation is a huge challenge for our sector and that we all have a clear responsibility to ensure actions are taken to drive our operational emissions to zero at a pace matching actions taken across the rest of the world and other industry sectors. By assessing different decarbonisation options for different ship types, we identify the drivers that need to be in place to make them a competitive solution and we aim to show the opportunity for a successful and low-cost decarbonisation pathway for shipping.”

Tristan Smith, Reader at UCL, added:

This report demonstrates the potential solutions for shipping’s zero emissions transition. By sharing the findings, we hope it can provide inspiration and focus for shipping’s collective efforts to ensure zero emissions happen swiftly and with minimal cost and disruption to trade."

Zero Emission Vessels 2030 is the latest in LR’s series of reports looking at fuel and technology trends for the marine industry, aimed at developing new knowledge and tools that can contribute to policy debate. Previous reports include Global Marine Trends 2030, Global Marine Fuel Trends 2030 and Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 and Low Carbon Pathways 2050.

To download a PDF of the study go to info.lr.org/zev2030


Notes to editors

About Lloyd’s Register
Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global engineering, technical and business services organisation wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering. Founded in 1760 as a marine classification society, LR now operates across many industry sectors, with some 8,000 employees in 78 countries.

LR has a long-standing reputation for integrity, impartiality and technical excellence. Its compliance, risk and technical consultancy services give clients confidence that their assets and businesses are safe, sustainable and dependable. Through its global technology centres and research network, LR is at the forefront of understanding the application of new science and technology to future-proof its clients’ businesses

About UMAS
UMAS is a sector-focused commercial advisory service that draws upon the world-leading shipping expertise of the UCL Energy Institute, combined with the advisory and management system expertise of MATRANS. In combination, UCLC, the UCL Energy Institute and MATRANS operate under the UMAS branding. For more details, visit www.u-mas.co.uk.

UMAS undertakes research using models of the shipping system, shipping big data (including satellite Automatic Identification System data), and qualitative and social science analysis of the policy and commercial structure of the shipping system. Research and consultancy is centred on understanding patterns of energy demand in shipping and how this knowledge can be applied to help shipping transition to a low-carbon future. UMAS is world-leading in two key areas: first, using big data to understand the trends and drivers of shipping energy demand and emissions; and, second, using models to explore ‘what ifs’ for future markets and policies.

For media enquiries contact:

Nicola Eyles
Head of Brand & External Relations, Marine & Offshore
Lloyd’s Register

T +44 (0) 330 414 1001
E nicola.eyles@lr.org                                                                                      

Lloyd's Register
71 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4BS, UK

T: +44 (0)20 7709 9166
E: news@lr.org


Lloyd’s Register and variants of it are trading names of Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, its subsidiaries and affiliates.