Shipping's energy transition
What does energy transition mean for my organisation?
The goal is clear - to move from fossil fuels to zero carbon energy sources and technologies. There are many different starting points and paths to choose from.
Organisations, from shipowners and financiers to fuel producers and policymakers, each have unique challenges and potential solutions.
Every stakeholder and organisation with a role to play in the decarbonisation of the maritime industry needs to balance several factors in reaching a common goal of transitioning to zero-carbon energy sources:
Globally, citizens are beginning to exert more pressure and urgency to address the climate emergency for future generations, yet the transition must be handled carefully to minimise impact on the most vulnerable.
Achieving real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions requires global policy and regulation. Nation states may have their own imperatives and agendas that conflict with others.
Future zero-carbon energy sources need to be commercially viable in order to encourage widespread adoption. Transition strategies need to keep businesses sustainable during any impact on their operational models and budgets.
Fuels & Technology
Investment in short-term measures that are low risk but partial must be considered against transformative solutions that are higher risk but sustainable in the long term.
Building effective solutions
For any solution or transition pathway to be effective, it must take into account impacts across the whole supply chain, and meet a wide range of requirements, from the most detailed technical and safety specifications, to the broadest societal goals:
- Sustainability. While the industry focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the wider sustainability imperative should not be forgotten, nor should the problem be shifted to another sector.
- Policy and market incentives. For widespread adoption, the economics must be right. Policymakers and regulators must create the right market entry signals and remove any barriers.
- Energy efficiency. Improved ship performance reduces fuel consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions too. There is considerable scope for improvements in the efficient use of fossil fuels today and zero-carbon energy sources tomorrow.
- Safety and technical feasibility. For ideas to become reality they must be subjected to thorough risk and safety assessments and be shown to be technically feasible at a credible economic cost.
Finding the most competitive decarbonisation pathway to meet all the key criteria, and implementing the solutions that deliver it, requires expertise from multiple scientific and engineering disciplines. It also requires practical knowledge of operational decision making. Factors such as the differing requirements of alternative ship types, routes and operating environments all play a part in determining which fuels and technologies will best ensure a vessel stays competitive as the energy transition progresses.
Creating sustainable pathways to a zero-carbon maritime industry
Through the Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, Lloyd's Register is committed to leading shipping safely and sustainably on the journey to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ambition for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
As an industry, the maritime sector will not come close to achieving our goals without leadership, collaboration and evidence-based direction. The Maritime Decarbonisation Hub will create and share evidence, insight and knowledge about the transition to a decarbonised world fleet, disseminating and applying this information to provide maximum societal benefit.
We will work in partnership with other forward-looking organisations to deliver credible thought leadership to the entire industry - regulators, policy makers, investors, owners and operators – that will shape the safe pathways to decarbonisation, and demonstrate the costs, benefits and risks of each one.