Ardmore Shipping has added its support to calls for the industry to promote greater investment in energy efficiency and renewable propulsion technologies, so the maritime sector does not miss the huge opportunity to deliver immediate carbon savings, as well as reducing fuel costs.
The call to action comes from a group of maritime technology leaders that include Airseas, Houlder, NAPA, Norsepower, and I-Tech.
Currently, regulations are encouraging the industry to do two things; to derate engines so vessels are forced to slow down and save fuel, and to gradually switch to low and zero carbon fuels – such as green hydrogen, methanol ammonia or biofuels.
However, given the scale and urgency of the climate emergency, the group argues that regulations risk the sector inadvertently ignoring the huge range of innovative efficiency and renewable propulsion technologies already delivering significant fuel and emissions savings to the commercial fleet. This includes, but is not limited to wind propulsion, air lubrication, battery energy storage, hull coating technology, hydrodynamic energy saving solutions including propeller devices, and voyage optimization software.
Mark Cameron, COO at Ardmore Shipping said:
“There is no doubt that energy efficiency technologies still have a verysignificant role to play in the energy transition, particularly as fuel prices increase, and as we strive to meet the IMO 2030 and 2050 goals.
“Many proven energy efficiency technologies still have not yet been deployed at scale and, at the same time, more embryonic solutions, led by shipping’s digital and data revolution are opening up new possibilities. It is essential that the value is seen in the suite of technologies available on the market. Efficiency savings unlocked today will also pay dividends in the longer-term; financially and environmentally. Making changes now will pay off.”
The group is calling for all shipping stakeholders and international authorities, including the IMO and the EU, to expand their focus and attention to reflect the vital role of technologies that are available now. Long term innovation, research and development and the development of alternative fuels are key to decarbonizing the maritime sector, BUT they are not the whole solution. Shipping needs to integrate the available efficiency and renewable propulsion technologies into their roadmap immediately – with the following goals:
- to ensure that we move to address the environmental challenges right away,
- to provide the opportunity to immediately drop emissions and fuel consumption while alternative fuels continue to scale up,
- to provide the current fleet with an opportunity to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating environmental objectives coming from regulators, the market and the end consumer.
With the right support from investors and regulation, energy efficiency and renewable propulsion technology can inspire more ambitious targets and innovation, and ensure that shipping can become the lynchpin of a low-carbon global economy.