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US DOE releases RFI on clean fuels in shipping

US DOE releases RFI on clean fuels in shipping
A container vessel arriving at a port (photo courtesy John Simmons/Unsplash).

To advance the decarbonization of worldwide shipping, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking to understand the maritime industry’s current alternative fuels trajectory, the driving forces behind it, and key barriers to achieving the transition to zero-emission fuels.

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Today, international shipping accounts for approximately three percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The industry generally relies on the availability of and access to cheap, energy-intensive fuels to transport heavy freight internationally over long distances.

Unfortunately, emerging zero-emission fuels are less price competitive; more energy intensive; and can pose transportation, storage, and onboard use risks.

According to BETO, the purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, and government agencies on maritime industry alternative fuel advancement and strategies for getting to net zero GHG emissions.

This feedback will also supplement the Global Maritime Forum’s recently released 2022 survey, The Shipping Industry’s Fuel Choices on the Path to Net Zero.

The shipping industry, through the Zero-Emission Shipping Mission (ZESM), an international coalition of countries, private industry, and research institutes (of which the United States is a core member), set the goal to demonstrate commercially viable zero-emission ships by 2030.

This effort requires coordination among all aspects of the shipping supply chain, including feedstock supply, ship and engine manufacturers, port management, safety implementation, government regulation, and alternative fuel production.

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