Infrastructure for the Future Hydrogen-powered Merchant Fleet
Hydrogen is the maritime fuel of the future. But the energy density is lower than in fossil fuels. For merchant ships it will be demanding to bring enough hydrogen for long transits. Filling stations in the open sea along shipping routes may be a solution.
The map shows a snapshot of the positions of the world's fleet of ships. Green are cargo ships, red are tankers. As of today the shipping industry stand for 2.2 % of global emissions of greenhouse gases (2012, IMO). In addition they release large amounts of harmful sulfur and nitrogen oxides. All of these emissions are caused by the burning of oil for propulsion, typically dirty bunker oil.
International regulations will come. We believe that the market for hydrogen as a shipping fuel will accelerate after 2040. There will have to be an infrastructure in ports around the world. This could be a bottleneck. Offshore filling stations could therfore be a favourable option. And it may compete favourably with facilities in ports also from economic and safety reasons.
This is the same technology as the proposed solution for offshore hydrogen production, except for the direct delivery to end users.