Page 37 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2014
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Autumn 2014 European Energy Innovation 37


in 2016 for newly-built ships in compared to conventional fuel. that requires constant monitoring
North America. The availability of LNG in ports during operations.
is also still patchy; those keen to
LNG’s capital costs are high. use LNG are waiting for supply to So use of LNG can significantly
The Clean North Sea Shipping improve while those responsible reduce air pollution from
project cites investment costs for for providing LNG bunkering shipping. But it is no silver bullet
LNG-propelled ships of around cite weak demand as delaying to curb the growth of the sector’s
€215 per kW, though it says LNG progress. On safety, there is no carbon emissions and there are
has proven to be 45 per cent international rule yet governing other effective options, such as
cheaper than marine gas oil and how LNG can be used, though the reducing a ship’s speed, and
22 per cent cheaper than ships IMO is in the process of drafting better routing, planning and
with a scrubber using heavy fuel. an international code. maintenance. According to
Maintenance costs, it says, are some, in 25-30 years renewable
expected to be 50 per cent lower. LNG’s potential to reduce climate- energies (through sails or solar
changing emissions also remains panels) may be in use, while
So it’s easy to see why gas is contentious. Methane gas leakage others point to the possibility
heralded in some quarters as or ‘slip’ from the engine and of zero-emissions fuel cells. But
the future of marine propulsion, during production is potentially these are long-term solutions
but there remain serious a serious problem as, like carbon and the sector will look at all
challenges – both environmental dioxide, methane traps the sun’s possibilities in the interim.
and logistical. In retrofitting heat in the atmosphere. Scientists LNG is one such possibility but
for LNG use, for example, now estimate that the warming all environmental, safety and
substantial modifications are potential of methane is much logistical concerns – particularly
needed including increased greater than previously thought. its climate impact – will need
storage capacity – LNG requires Newer engines address some of to be resolved before it can be
1.8 times more storage capacity the leakage but it remains a factor wholeheartedly embraced. ●

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