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International shipping

Climate-neutral propulsion systems and fuels

H2-Compass has analysed international developments and research results on climate neutral propulsion systems and fuels for international shipping. The results are presented in the document available here. Since the future course of technological developments is presently highly uncertain, we also discussed the results with experts from shipping companies, ports, associations and academia. The discussion is summarised in nine theses at the end of the report.

International shipping is indispensable for global prosperity and trade - in 2015, 70% of the world's tonne-kilometres were transported by ship, and a sharp increase by a factor of 3.5 is expected by 2050. In view of 2045 net-zero goals and, at the same time, the very long operational lives of ocean-going vessels, sustainable concepts and fuels are urgently needed. Promising candidates in ocean shipping are ammonia, methanol and synthetic methane as bridging technologies. Hydrogen and direct electrification appear to make more sense in near-coastal shipping.


H2-Compass is a project of acatech and DECHEMA. The project is funded by BMBF and BMWK.