Maritime Forecast to 2050

Energy efficiency, reduced carbon print and greater use of renewable energy will be the greatest transition for the maritime industry by 2050.

DNV-GL’s Maritime Forecast to 2050 examines the future of shipping industry and focuses on the challenge of decarbonizing the global fleet to meet IMO’s ambitious goals.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set up a clear ambition to fully decarbonize shipping somewhere between 2050 and 2100. The transition towards this goal is still unclear. However, there are different strategies and pathways the industry can take to reach this goal.

Fuel flexibility and new technologies contribute to the energy transition.

Fuels such as ammonia, biofuels, electrofuels, hydrogen, and nuclear power contribute to meeting the IMO goals. Improving the energy efficiency and operational capacity, as well as providing technological developments in batteries, drag reductions, and material science of the vessels will improve the overall performance and lead to a better energy transition. 

In addition, the industry shows interest in hybridization, as an alternative to combine alternative diesel engine with other renewable energy sources.

The fleet will change considerably to adapt to this transition.

  • The fleet size will increase by more than a third (35%) by 2050. 
  • By 2030, the crude oil fleet will peak at about 20% larger than today and will then decline by 30% by 2050. 
  • By 2050, 39% of shipping energy will come from carbon-neutral fuels and 5% will be produced by electric batteries.
  • There is an increasing interest to include circular economies during the production process to reduce the consumption of virgin materials.
  • The value chains will be highly changed and impacted due to the digital transformation, automation, robotics and adaptive manufacturing. 

Environmental regulations will shape the future fleet

There will be local, regional and national approaches to reduce harmful emission of nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxide particles. In addition, there will be ballast-water and sediment management regulation.

By Maria Paula Ar…