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CO2 is the most important of the greenhouse gases emitted by shipping. The shipping industry is prepared to play its part in reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. In the report “Pathways to low carbon shipping – abatement potential towards 2030”, DNV projected the world fleet development towards 2030 and analysed the potential CO2 reduction.

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“There is no single emissions reduction measure that dominates the analysis. It is the aggregate effect of a large number of individual means that results in the significant total potential,” says DNV’s CEO Henrik O. Madsen.

In 2009, DNV published the first “Pathways to low carbon shipping”. In this study, we demonstrated a realistic and cost-effective maximum CO2 reduction potential of 15% for the existing fleet. This can be achieved by modest technical modifications to existing ships, but mainly through improved operational practices. All of the technical and operational means introduced in this study are available and proven today. The introduction of these means will lead not only to CO2 reductions but, equally importantly, to cost savings over the remaining lifetime of the fleet. Unfortunately, a number of barriers currently prohibit or slow the introduction of these means.

Prior to the COP 15 meeting in Copenhagen, DNV presented the “Pathways to low carbon shipping –abatement potential towards 2030”. In this study, we projected the world fleet development towards 2030 and analysed the potential CO2 reduction. In addition to the means suggested in the first study for the existing fleet, this second study includes a number of means for newbuildings. All of these are technologically available today; however, not all are ready for large scale implementation. The conclusion of the study is that the CO2 emissions by the projected 2030 fleet can be reduced by up to 30% in a cost effective manner compared to a business as usual base line. The CO2 reduction can be significantly higher if all the possible means are implemented, irrespective of costs. The world fleet is projected to grow towards 2030 and the absolute CO2 emissions by 2030 are estimated to remain at the 2010 level if all the cost effective means are implemented for all ships.

We know that new technology will gradually be developed and implemented from 2020 and onwards, resulting in a potential for further CO2 emissions reductions. By introducing such innovations in our calculations, we believe that a further 50% reduction from the 2030 emissions level may be achieved by 2050.

Aggregate effect
There is no single emissions reduction measure that dominates the analysis. It is the aggregate effect of a large number of individual means that results in the significant total potential. Our calculations are based on the experience gained from energy efficiency studies we have undertaken with shipowners, literature on the subject and industry studies, as well as our own research. Two of the measures stand out with a relatively high emissions reduction potential. These are a fuel switch to LNG fuel for the coastal and inland waterways shipping and a reduction of speed, in particular for container ships.

In DNV, we have worked with customers on energy management projects for a number of years and have gained significant experience and factual knowledge of both emission reduction and cost-reduction potentials. Excellent cooperation with owners and operators has been essential to ensure the quality and accuracy of our research results.

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