Zero-carbon shipping fuels, the hydrogen economy and the energy system

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, 21 January 2020
UCL Energy Seminar , Room G01, UCL Central House 14 Upper Woburn Place London, WC1H 0NN, United Kingdom

In April 2018, the United Nations specialised agency in shipping, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), set its decarbonisation ambitions. The most aggressive of these aims to reduce by at least half the shipping sector absolute CO2 emissions observed in 2008 by 2050.

While energy-efficient technologies and operational measures can bring some reductions in reducing CO2 emissions, they are not enough to comply with or go beyond the IMO’s minimum ambition. Moreover, commercial ships tend to have an average life span of around 30 years which means that low-carbon and zero-carbon vessels will need to start entering service around the end of this decade.

In July 2019, the UK government launched the Clean Maritime Plan, part of its Clean Air Strategy. The Plan’s purpose is to cut down air pollution from shipping and contribute to the UK’s commitment to be net zero on GHG’s by 2050. The Plan raises specific objectives for the introduction of zero-carbon fuels and fleet for UK domestic shipping and proposes next steps for the subsequent public and private actions that will be required for these objectives to come to fruition.

This talk examines the likely scenarios for shipping’s move from the use of fossil fuels towards some electrification as well as use of hydrogen-derived “zero-carbon” fuels in both domestic and international shipping. We will look at the implications of these fuel’s production and what this might mean to UK and the wider global energy system, the scale of the required investment and the opportunities this presents for the UK.

The seminar will be chaired by Dr Tristan Smith and include presentations both by leading researchers in UCL’s shipping research team, as well as from Morna Cannon from the Department of Transport. The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception with wine and nibbles.

For more information click here.