A hydrogen-powered train. File image/Pixabay.
With 2050 set as a target for shipping's decarbonisation both technical innovations and alternative fuels are likely to become increasingly important. And although hydrogen would not be seen as a front runner in the alt fuel stakes, that picture could start to change with Norwegian investment.
Marine technology expert Craig Eason, points to a number of Norway-led projects, many of which have been reported on by Ship & Bunker.
One of the drawbacks of hydrogen is the amount of storage required for vessels to cover any distance. One solution to this problem was reported in Ship & Bunker last week.
Eason spoke to Gerd Petra Haugom, who, as well as being principal consultant within the environmental advisory division at class society DNV GL, has worked on hydrogen fuel strategies.
Haugom takes the view that hydrogen as a pressurised liquid could emerge as demand to cover distance using hydrogen strengthens, most probably on the back of a growth in hydrogen cargoes.
The challenge, according to Eason, is that the liquefaction and gasification of the hydrogen requires energy and expensive infrastructure investment.
But there are signs of growth. On land, hydrogen buses, trucks and trains are being used and a supply chain is beginning to emerge for these vehicles where hydrogen is a supply into fuel cells.
The increase in demand for hydrogen cargoes would lead to more liquefaction.
Eason was writing in maritime news provider Lloyd's List.