Whitepaper: Future Maritime Fuels
Bureau Veritas (BV) has launched a detailed outlook on future maritime fuels in a new whitepaper, which calls for a “well-to-wake” (WtW) approach to assess the climate impact and sustainability of alternative fuels.
The whitepaper evaluates alternative fuels such as methanol, LNG, biofuels, hydrogen and ammonia, outlining their respective characteristics, advantages, challenges, availability, safety and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
A well-to-wake approach accounts for all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released from the extraction or production phase, the distribution of the fuel, through to the final use on board vessels, as opposed to just the emissions resulting from combustion on board.
The whitepaper calls for a sustainable fuel production pathway for alternative fuels, highlighting that even carbon-free fuels may have a carbon-intensive supply chain that means they could generate higher WtW emissions than the fossil fuels they intend to replace. This positions electrofuels (e-fuels), which are produced from renewable energy, as well as sustainably sourced biofuels, as some of the most promising options to decarbonize shipping.
The whitepaper describes how the industry will see a mix of alternative fuels in the near future, with fuel choices influenced by vessel types, sizes and operational profiles, as well as the availability of the fuels and bunkering infrastructures at scale. Access to renewable electricity on a large scale will be key to produce e-fuels and hydrogen, and a cross-sector approach will be needed to share resources such as wind and solar power between maritime and other sectors.
The industry will also be affected by a range of incentives, including legislation and market-based measures, that are being developed by regional and global regulators.