Pollution is a primary enemy to the environment today. The shipping industry, in particular, has been at the forefront towards contributing to pollution as it had accounted for 3% of global carbon emission in 2012. The current emission trajectory places the sector on an incredible path where it would be expected to contribute between 6 and 14 percent of the carbon emissions by the year 2050.
These statistics prompted research into the use of alternative sources of energy for the shipping industry. However, according to the findings logged by consultants and research experts from UMAS, the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would only cut carbon emissions by between 6 and 10 percent, a value that would not be worth the billions expected to be poured into the fuel technology.
The research program was part of the EU countries’ policies set to enforce the implementation of measures seeking to have all concerned industries do their fair share on carbon emission reduction. The EU has been working with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to implement measures seeking to cut about 50% of carbon emission rates by 2050. The findings of the report are a clear frustration of the initiative and would have the stakeholders seeking to implement new measures.
According to the report, however, the use of LNG in the shipping industry would pose some minor but necessary advantages as far as reduction of secondary emissions like sulfur is concerned. Other options that the shipping industry has been pursuing include biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity. Some of them have however been ruled out for lack of competitive advantages. Electric batteries have been found to be infeasible due to their weight vs. output component while biofuels pose a cost-based challenge.
LNG is overly untenable for other factors, let alone the cost and efficiency component. For instance, the fuel was found to emit additional particulates and gases such as methane in the environment. Methane, to that effect, is more potent than carbon as far as negative effects on the climate are concerned. Besides, the use of LNG would have shipping companies and the EU part with over $22 billion by 2050 as part of the LNG fuel costs. This would be a major net loss even as the technology would have achieved a paltry 10% carbon reduction.