Shell sees hydrogen as the shipping industry's future energy source. File Image / Pixabay
Energy producer Shell has backed the use of hydrogen and fuel cells as the zero-carbon technology with the best potential to help the shipping industry decarbonise by 2050.
In a new report published this week, Shell said it plans to establish a consortium to develop and trial fuel cells on a commercial deep-sea ship.
The company also called on the IMO "to adopt a clear trajectory to a net-zero emissions shipping sector by 2050."
The IMO's current decarbonisation strategy envisages a cut of at least 50% from 2008's levels to the shipping industry's total greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Shell also plans to double its existing LNG bunkering infrastructure on key international trade routes by the mid-2020s, the company said.
"Compared to heavy fuel oil, from extraction to combustion LNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 21% for 2-stroke slow speed engines and up to 15% for 4-stroke medium speed engines," Shell said.
"It can also be used with fuel cells to aid the development of this key technology.
"In this way, LNG can play a critical role in helping the industry to lower its emissions today and develop technology for the zero-emissions fuels of the future, while continuing to address methane slippage."