Europe leads in shipping’s zero emission projects

The projects concentrate either on ship technologies development or sustainable fuel production.

A new mapping of zero emission pilots and demonstration projects from the Getting to Zero Coalition reveals that they concentrate either on ship technologies development or sustainable fuel production, with the majority coming from Europe.

At this point, the Getting to Zero Coalition has gathered 66 projects and this list will be updated bi-annually. Most of the projects come from Europe (49) with the next highest geographical concentration being Asia (16). In Europe, it is also common that the projects are publicly funded, which gives them a higher chance of success. 

“Governments can play a key role in de-risking first mover projects and in supporting the uptake of deep sea zero emission vessels by 2030,” explains Kasper Søgaard, Head of Research at the Global Maritime Forum, a Partner of the Getting to Zero Coalition.

Zero emission fuels and technologies for maritime shipping need to be commercially viable by 2030 to meet decarbonization targets. This requires urgent action by stakeholders from across the maritime sector. It calls for innovative solutions which will help meet the goal of having zero emission deep sea vessels in operation within 10 years. 

The Getting to Zero Coalition, which set this goal in 2019, has done a mapping of the various projects which are driving the industry towards a greener future. The projects concentrate either on ship technologies development or sustainable fuel production. 

“The majority of projects covering fuel production focus on green hydrogen which is largely due to hydrogen’s position as a ‘building block’ for the production of other fuels such as ammonia or methanol,” adds Søgaard.

Most of the projects (47) are planned as demonstration projects which means that they are capable of operation under real-world conditions. “Much of what needs to be achieved is already technically possible. The key issue here is to close the competitiveness gap between traditional fossil fuels and new zero emission fuels,” comments Søgaard.

By being able to see all the work that is already underway, the Getting to Zero Coalition wants to catalyze new ambitious pilots and demonstration projects. Their scale and variety can offer deeper insights into how the future of the maritime industry is unfolding and can generate learnings that can be used to further improve technologies and bring down the cost.

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