April 14, 2021
Are we seeing a glimpse of the future? The Getting to Zero Coalition is hopeful that the trends revealed in their latest report could forecast the clean shipping fuels of tomorrow. The report entitled Mapping of Zero Emission Pilots and Demonstration Projects examines the extent of decarbonization efforts in the shipping community. By reviewing current green initiatives and programs throughout the maritime sector, report authors were able to identify several emerging trends. This insight could be priceless for ship owners trying desperately to decide what clean fuel will power the fleet of the future. Jesse Fahnestock, report author and project director at the Global Maritime Forum, is confident that the project will not only provide much needed support for shipping executives, but also foster a collaborative effort between industry leaders. “Our mapping aims to support potential first movers in kickstarting shipping’s zero emission future. By making the full lists of projects publicly available today, frontrunners can draw upon learning from other projects and improve confidence in undertaking new innovations that will get the industry on a zero emissions path,” says Fahnestock.
Mapping of Zero Emission Pilots and Demonstration Projects will be updated on a biannual basis. The recently published second edition of the report nearly doubled the number of projects studied. Report authors categorized a total of 106 programs, up from the 66 considered in the first edition. The current mapping shows that a variety of fuels are being explored with hydrogen and ammonia as the two front runners. For large vessels, there was a notable shift in project focus from pre-2020 over post-2020. Post-2020 saw a drastic rise in ammonia, methanol/ethanol and hydrogen fuel interest while interest in battery power, biofuels and wind propulsion dwindled slightly. As was the case in the original mapping, smaller vessels appear to be concentrating their efforts on battery power.
In addition to determining what fuels shipping executives are considering, the mapping also identifies where these projects are taking place. Europe leads with 71 total projects. Notably, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium each have over 10 projects in the mapping. Compared to the first edition, Asia has increased its project load by 15.
Will it be one of these projects that sparks the new era in green shipping? Only time will tell. In the meantime, the Getting to Zero Coalition’s Mapping is quite encouraging. Through it we can share in our successes and learn from our failures. It will set our standards higher, cultivating more ambitious undertakings and make the best path forward that much clearer. Shipping executives launching new projects or those that are working on a project that has yet to be included in the mapping are encouraged to reach out. The Getting to Zero Coalition always welcomes this information to further their findings.