Sustainable Shipping Fuels Path To Cost Parity With Fossil Fuels By 2035


  • A recent report by Wärtsilä Corporation unveils a roadmap for sustainable shipping fuels, suggesting they could match the cost of fossil fuels by 2035 with the right policy interventions.
  • Titled ‘Sustainable fuels for shipping by 2050 – the 3 key elements of success’, the report emphasizes the pivotal role of decisive emissions policies, such as carbon taxes and emissions limits, in achieving this milestone.
  • The transition to sustainable fuels is imperative for the maritime industry, which contributes 2% of global emissions, equivalent to Japan’s annual emissions.

The report highlights the significant impact of policy initiatives like the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the FuelEU Maritime Initiative (FEUM) in doubling the cost of fossil fuels by 2030. By 2035, these measures are projected to narrow the price gap between fossil fuels and sustainable alternatives. This underscores the critical role of policy certainty and global collaboration in driving the transition to sustainable shipping fuels.

Industry Collaboration and Individual Actions

To accelerate the adoption of sustainable fuels, the report calls for industry-wide collaboration and individual operator action. Suggestions include pooling buying power through sector-wide procurement agreements, collaborating with other sectors to establish production frameworks, and sharing skills and expertise through knowledge hubs. Individual operators are encouraged to invest in fuel efficiency measures to reduce both emissions and operating costs.

Investing in Fuel Flexibility and Technological Innovation

Wärtsilä emphasizes the importance of investing in fuel flexibility to avoid the risk of stranded assets. The company has developed multiple fuel options, including the first commercially available 4-stroke engine for ammonia fuel, capable of reducing emissions by over 70% compared to diesel. This focus on innovation and technological advancements aligns with Wärtsilä’s broader commitment to driving the maritime industry towards decarbonization and sustainability.

As the maritime sector navigates towards a decarbonized future, collaboration between policymakers, industry stakeholders, and individual operators will be essential in overcoming challenges and realizing the full potential of sustainable shipping fuels. Wärtsilä’s report provides a comprehensive framework for achieving full decarbonization by mid-century, underscoring the urgency and importance of concerted action in addressing climate change in the maritime industry.

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Source: Wartsila