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Alternative Fuels Outlook for Shipping 

Oct. 4 2022

This white paper details alternative fuels for the shipping industry, considering technological maturity, availability, safety, emissions and regulations. Adopting a well-to-wake approach in its evaluations, our analysis covers the industry’s changing needs resulting from its energy transition and decarbonization ambitions.

First, the white paper outlines the current marine fuel landscape and the challenges that lie ahead in decarbonizing the shipping industry. Then it presents an overview of different alternative fuels, including their advantages and challenges. We approach issues such as availability and well-to-wake emissions, situating them in their real-world global and regional regulatory context.

Our goal is to provide an overview – a starting point for the reader toward more detailed discussions with Bureau Veritas and industry experts. This white paper covers a non-exhaustive selection of alternative fuel technologies.

As with all our publications, this white paper aims to inform all stakeholders of the current context and market perspectives. It intends to lay out a global summary of progress in developing alternative fuels, and looks at their current role in decarbonizing the shipping industry. By adopting a well-to-wake approach, we hope to provide clarity as to the complete emissions profiles of these fuels.

This report illustrates:

  • Context, challenges and fuel characteristics
    Reaching net-zero requires ambitious objectives and collaborative actions. A variety of factors will influence fuel choices.
  • Supply, availability and scalability
    Large-scale renewable electricity and better infrastructure will be vital to produce and supply low- and zero-carbon fuels at scale. The end-to-end production pathways of individual fuels will impact their green credentials.
  • Regulatory and market considerations
    A range of incentives  including regulations and market-based measures  are being developed as an essential step to encourage closing the conventional and alternative fuel gap. This white paper also includes some calculations and forecasts as to the impacts of these measures on OPEX costs.
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