93% of maritime companies believe e-fuels will make a significant contribution to more sustainable shipping, according to survey

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4th November 2023 16:57 - Transport and Distribution

93% of maritime companies believe e-fuels will make a significant contribution to more sustainable shipping: A survey of maritime decision makers has found that the vast majority believe e-fuels will make a significant contribution to more sustainable shipping. E-fuels are potentially climate-neutral fuels made using renewable electricity, which respondents ranked higher than biofuels (69%) LNG (60 percent), fossil-derived hydrogen (52 percent) and fossil fuels combined with carbon capture (32 percent), when asked which would be most effective at reducing shipping's global CO2 emissions. 

When asked about the obstacles to using e-fuels,  44% said they expect availability to remain poor before 2030, although almost all respondents polled said they are confident that this would not be the case by 2050. When asked how the availability of e-fuels could be improved, 58% called for government incentives and subsidies for the companies that produce them. Insufficient regulatory framework conditions and an absence of political support were also highlighted as obstacles by 4 in 10 companies surveyed.

Respondents were also asked when the use of e-fuels will become 'essential' for shipping, with 44% saying 2040, while 97% thought it would be a decade later in 2050.

Other insights revealed by the polling was that 82% of shipping companies see the implementation of e-fuels in shipping as 'technically complex', although companies with greater annual turnover were less concerned, found the research. The issues cited most when asked about barriers to  implementation included lack of availability (46%), high switching costs (50%) and infrastructural problems (43%). 

'A competitive advantage'

Two-thirds of respondents polled said they see a competitive advantage for their business using e-fuels, with almost half reporting they are planning to invest in the future.

Daniel Bischofberger, CEO of Accelleron, said: "Our survey highlights the great potential of e-fuels for the future of shipping, but we are only at the beginning. The cross-sector focus in the industry and among legislators must now quickly shift to building the right infrastructure for better availability and the right government incentives to achieve long-term cost parity between fossil fuels and e-fuels.”

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