Towards green shipping
The maritime energy transition is the process where the entire maritime shipping industry is changing the fuels it uses to power its ships, from carbon-intensive to carbon-neutral or renewable, in order to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It’s a similar process affecting countless other industries tackling climate change. The transition impacts not just ship operators, but also builders, suppliers, partners and countless other stakeholders.
Why is the maritime energy transition relevant to the maritime industry?
The maritime energy transition is not just relevant to ship owners and operators. It forms the core of almost every challenge the whole maritime industry will face over the next decades. Maritime shipping accounts for about 3% of global CO2 emissions but was deliberately left out of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has introduced regulations that require the shipping industry to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50%
by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. At the same time, shipping is projected to increase due to growing international trade. The IMO predicts that shipping emissions could increase more than three-fold by 2050, based on industry growth scenarios and assuming
propulsion technology remains unchanged. Reducing carbon footprint while rapidly growing is the central dilemma the international shipping industry needs to solve.
It will go beyond ships though. The entire value chain of shipping and maritime transport will need to be decarbonized, an effort that will require all hands on deck.
The maritime industry is a supertanker that can’t be turned around in a day [...] But there is a sense of urgency.
How can maritime shipping reduce its emissions?
While road transport is moving toward direct electric battery electrification, shipping cannot, as the technology is not sufficiently advanced to move large ships across the distances they need. Instead, decarbonization can only happen in the fuels used
in internal combustion engines.
Thankfully, there are options. In the short to medium term, LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) is a promising fuel, both for reducing and eliminating nitrogen and sulfur oxides, as well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20%.
But LNG is not the end goal, either for the shipping industry or for MAN Energy Solutions. The future belongs to climate-neutral fuels produced from green hydrogen and renewable energy sources, and include synthetic natural gas,
green ammonia and methanol. For short distances, green hydrogen itself is also a future option.
Learn more about future fuels
Helping to make the maritime energy transition a reality
As one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of marine propulsion systems, MAN Energy Solutions is already at the forefront of climate-neutral shipping. Half of the world’s trade is moved by MAN engines and since 2016, MAN Energy
Solutions has championed the Maritime Energy Transition. The company not only develops technological solutions but also advocates for an effective global regulatory framework.
The company has countless projects working to help shippers reduce their CO2 emissions. For example, MAN, along with its partners, has successfully completed the world’s first bunkering of a containership with renewable synthetic natural gas. The company is also investing 500 million euros into hydrogen production.
MAN Energy Solutions is also continuously improving its engines to be more efficient and make them capable of running on new innovative fuels like hydrogen, synthetic methane and ammonia.
Learn more about this milestone for the maritime energy transition