Written by Jing Sun
Ships carry more than 80% of world trade, and they rely heavily on some of the least environmentally friendly transportation fuels available.
There are no cheap, widely available solutions that can lower the shipping industry’s planet-warming carbon emissions – in fact, shipping is considered one of the hardest industries on the planet to decarbonize – but some exciting innovations are being tested right now.
As a professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, I work on ship propulsion and control systems, including electrification, batteries and fuel cells. With attention focused on climate change this week as world leaders meet at the G-7 summit and negotiators discuss shipping emissions at a meeting of the U.N.‘s International Maritime Organization, let’s take a look at what’s possible and some of the fuels and technologies that are likely to define the industry’s future.