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Reaching IMO 2050 GHG Targets Exclusively through Energy efficiency measures


Maritime transport accounts for around 3% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions (Well-to-Wake). These GHG emissions must be reduced by at least 50% in absolute values by 2050 to contribute to the ambitions of the Paris agreement signed in 2015. Switching to Zero-carbon fuels made from renewable sources (hydro, wind, or solar) is seen by many as the most promising option to deliver the desired GHG reductions. However, renewable energy is a scarce resource that gives a much larger GHG reduction spent within other sectors. This study explores how to reach the IMO 2050 GHG targets exclusively through energy efficiency measures. The results indicate that by combining wind-assisted propulsion (WASP) with a slender hull form, fuel consumption and GHG emissions can be reduced by 30 – 35%, at a negative abatement cost for speeds exceeding 8 knots. Where the cost saving increases with the speed, because at higher speeds the fuel accounts for a higher share of the total cost, which implies that the cost saving goes from zero at 8knots, to 5% reduction at 11 knots average speed to 14% reduction of total cost with 15 knots average speed. In comparison, GHG reductions through Zero-carbon fuels will increase transport costs by 50-200%.


Academic article


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 237917
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 294771





  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Ocean / Energi og transport
  • Unknown



Published in

Journal of Ship Production and Design




Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

View this publication at Cristin