Individual companies are innovating, with rotor sails to harness wind and battery energy storage systems. Maersk Tankers installed two Norsepower rotor sails (large, cylindrical mechanical sails that spin to create a pressure differential) on a first vessel, Maersk Pelican, in August 2018. As part of the test, the aggregated total fuel saved from 1 September 2018 to 1 September 2019 was 8.2 percent savings – equivalent to approximately 1400 tonnes of CO2.
A ‘Getting to Zero Coalition’ was launched in September 2019 at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. The coalition’s aim is to have commercially viable deep sea zero emission vessels powered by zero emission fuels in operation by 2030.
In the mix is GoodFuels, which for the last five years has been seeking to accelerate the uptake of biofuels. Those biofuels are produced from certified feedstock that is labelled a waste or residue, so the claim is there are no direct or indirect land-use issues, no competition with food production or deforestation. It is possible to do more harm than good with biofuels, points out Janne Antonia Erxleben, GoodFuels’ Business Development Manager, so there is an independent sustainability board to oversee this.
Crucially, biofuels require no changes to engines or tanks and can be blended with other fuel. There is a CO2 reduction of up to 90 percent, it eliminates Sulphur (SOx) and reduces Nitrogen (NOx) by around 37 percent and Particulate Matter (PM) by 60 percent.