Classification society DNV has released its latest Maritime Forecast to 2050, part of the Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) suite of reports.
Conceived to help shipowners navigate the technologies and fuels needed to meet global greenhouse gas (GHG) targets, the report features an updated carbon risk management framework, including a new ‘decarbonization stairway’ model to help owners map a path to sustainability.
The 80-page report aims to assist an industry facing the dual challenge of increasingly stringent climate change targets and regulations coupled with uncertainty over future fuel choices, technology, and supply.
It is, according to DNV Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, “the grand challenge of our time.”
“Choosing the right fuel today for operations tomorrow is a daunting task that all owners must face up to,” said Ørbeck-Nilssen. “The business environment is changing in line with the natural one, leading not just to increased regulatory requirements, but also to new cargo-owner and consumer expectations and more rigorous demands from capital investors and institutions.
“A misstep today in newbuild fuel strategies can have damaging consequences for businesses and assets in the future. So, owners need practical, expert advice and smart solutions to ensure vessels stay competitive, compliant and commercially attractive over their lifetimes. This is where the Maritime Forecast to 2050 can help turn strategic uncertainty into confident decision-making.”
The report maps the shifting regulatory landscape, provides a status update on technology and alternative fuels, and views the energy transition from a wider perspective – investigating the financing of green onboard investments, as well as the need for rapid development of supply-side capacity for new fuels.
To support shipowners, DNV provides an updated framework for managing carbon risk in newbuilding designs, a techno-economic evaluation of fuel strategies, and the vessel design implications of those chosen approaches. The ‘decarbonization stairway’ is introduced to show how individual owners can adapt to stay below the required GHG emission trajectories.
The new Maritime Forecast to 2050 – the fifth edition of its kind – features detailed case studies to help evaluate fuel and technology scenarios and compare competing solutions. The report finds that the maritime energy transition is already gaining momentum, with around 12% of newbuilds currently ordered with alternative fuel systems. This is double the 6% revealed by DNV’s 2019 Maritime Forecast report. However, less than 1% of ships currently in operation use alternative fuels, with the huge majority plying short-sea routes.