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IMO 2050’s target to reduce GHG emissions by 70 per cent seems possible

carbon capture storage

This is according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Though reducing carbon emissions are important for the maritime industry, time is a concern on adopting environmentally-friendly fuels. Moreover, migration rate can also be thwarted by costs – if shipowners are not inclined to invest just yet.

Hype about Green Hydrogen
IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said, “Between 80 – 90 per cent of international trade is through maritime means. Decarbonising global shipping is one of the most challenging sectors to address. Current plans fall short of what is needed despite raised ambitions. This IRENA report demonstrates that cutting CO2 emissions in a strategic, hard to abate sector is technically feasible through green hydrogen fuels.”

It maintained that reducing up to 80 per cent of CO2 is achievable by mid-century provided fossil fuels are replaced by renewable fuels based on green hydrogen and advanced biofuels. IRENA was of the view that renewable fuels should contribute minimally 70 per cent of the industry’s energy mix in 2050. La Camera hoped it would encourage policy makers, shipowners, operators, port authorities, renewable energy developers, and utilities to work collaboratively towards achieving the climate goals.

What about E-based fuels?
IRENA’s decarbonisation 1.5°C Pathway is based on four key measures: indirect electrification by employing green hydrogen-based fuels, inclusion of advanced biofuels, improvement of vessels’ energy efficiency, and reduction of sectoral activity due to systemic changes in global trade dynamics.

The agency believed advanced biofuels will be instrumental in cutting emissions, providing up to 10 per cent of the sector’s total energy mix in 2050. Green hydrogen-based fuels will be pivotal with occupying 60 per cent of the energy mix in 2050. E-methanol and e-ammonia are the most promising green hydrogen-based fuels – with e-ammonia set to be the backbone for the sector’s decarbonising by 2050.

E-ammonia could represent as much as 43 per cent of the sector’s energy needs in 2050, which translates to about 183 million tonnes of renewable ammonia for international shipping – comparable to today’s global ammonia production. The agency highlighted production costs of alternative fuels and their availabilities will ultimately dictate the actual employment. Moving from nearly zero CO2 emissions to net zero requires a 100 per cent renewable energy mix by 2050.

Regardless, costs will determine the migration rate. Climate goals and decarbonisation ambitions can materialise through relevant and timely co-ordinated international policy measures. This calls for collective efforts from all stakeholders to meet the IMO 2050 target.


Marine Online News Team
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