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IEA World Energy Outlook highlights emissions from shipping

File image courtesy of Pixabay (Public Domain)

Posted on Oct 14, 2021 11:00 PM by

The maritime executive

Ahead of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow in November, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its flagship World Energy Outlook 2021 report with a focus on clean energy transitions.

One of the main findings of the report is that while there is a marked increase in the adoption of renewable energy sources like wind and solar, this is being offset by an increase in emissions, especially industries such as heavy transport. More specifically, the transport sector is distinguished by its heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Transportation accounts for 37% of CO2 emissions (7.1 gigatonnes in 2020) from all end-use sectors. This includes shipping, and even in the best-case scenario, the IEA estimates that fuel oil will account for around 80% of total marine transportation fuel demand in 2030.

Maritime transport faces two particular challenges: promoting energy efficiency and changing behavior to reduce energy demand; and accelerate innovation and investment in infrastructure to enable decarbonization after 2030. This is even more pronounced in developing economies, which are expected to develop new infrastructure for low carbon fuels in their ports. Therefore, international cooperation is necessary to foster the development of the necessary infrastructure, with advanced economies playing a key role.

“Governments need to increase investments in the commercialization of key technologies for long-distance transport such as maritime and air transport, in particular by improving the incentives for such investments. Emission reductions in these modes depend on the innovation of key technologies such as advanced batteries with an energy density of over 400 watt hours per kilogram (Wh / Kg), fuel cells, advanced biofuels and synthetic fuels. Recommends the report.

The initial transition can be focused on specific regions. With the world’s 20 largest ports accounting for more than half of all global cargo, the industry can achieve the best results by focusing on the largest fuel demand groups until low-emission technologies carbon become more profitable, recommends the report.


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