What Will Power Shipping in 2050?
In the KNect365 blog post last year: “12 experts evaluate the shipping industry's potential to go green” we discussed shipping’s potential to meet the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap. 2020 isn’t very far away, so the question arises - what are shipping companies actually doing right now? How many ships are actually using LNG? Are any commercial ships using biofuels, or wind?
Luckily, the answer comes to us from Dr. Nishatabbas Rehmatulla. In a paper published in January 2016, Dr. Rehmatulla and his team at University College London Energy Institute along with IMarEST, RINA and the MEPC surveyed 275 shipping companies representing 5,500 ships (or 20% of the wetbulk, drybulk and container industry). Just 1.5% of shipping companies said they were using LNG, .2% Biofuels, and .1% Solar. None of the companies that responded were using Wind Power, Kites, Sails or Flettner Rotors.
I asked several experts in the industry, including Dr. Rehmatulla, which alternative fuel they thought would see the largest growth by 2050. Will LNG remain on top of the heap – or will the recent highly publicized Norsepower/Maersk Tankers wind propulsion collaboration lead the way for commercial shipping to embrace wind shipping?