Low Carbon Shipping
Low Carbon Shipping – A Systems Approach, was a research project that started in January 2010 and ended in June 2013 funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (£1.7m) and a number of industry partners.
In addition to the research that was undertaken at the five universities including University College London, Newcastle University, University of Strathclyde, University of Hull and University of Plymouth, the project was supported by substantial in-house research and data from the consortium members from industry, NGO and government departments, including Shell, Maersk, Rolls Royce, BMT and Lloyds Register.
Shipping was estimated in 2007 to account for 3.3% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In the second International Maritime Organisation (IMO) GreenHouse Gas (GHG) study (Buhaug et al., 2009), it was predicted in that study that shipping would account for between 12-18% of global CO2 emissions by 2050 if no action is taken to reduce emissions from shipping (allowing for no greater than 2°C global temperature rise by 2100).
Compounding the issue, the life expectancy of the world’s oil and gas reserves, from which the vast majority of shipping fuels are derived, is increasingly measured in decades (International Energy Agency, 2008). The RCUK (Research Councils UK, a source for government funding of research in the UK) Energy programme, recognising the need for further research in this subject, issued a call for proposals on low carbon shipping in 2009.
Three proposals were successful, one of which, “Low Carbon Shipping – A Systems Approach” was submitted by the consortium including University College London, Newcastle University, University of Strathclyde, University of Hull and University of Plymouth and supported by a number of industry partners.
The core funding of the consortium’s effort (££1.5m) came from RCUK, with additional staff time and PhD studentships being provided by support from four core industry partners, Shell, Lloyd’s Register, BMT and Rolls-Royce.
In 2010, the consortium believed, that there was a lack of a holistic understanding of the shipping industry. Its drawn out contractual, technological and financial evolution having obscured access to both top-down and bottom-up system level understanding of its sensitivities and left many commercial habits engrained and unchanged for literally hundreds of years.
The project aims were:
1. To develop knowledge and understanding of the shipping system, particularly the relationship between its principal components, transport logistics and ship designs, and clarify the many complex interfaces in the shipping industry (shipping companies, port operations, owner/operator relationships, contractual agreements and the links to other transport modes).
2. To deploy that understanding to explore future logistical and ship concepts and how they could achieve cost-effective reduction of carbon emissions helping to reduce shipping costs.
3. To develop projections for future trends in the demand for shipping, the impacts of technical and policy solutions and their associated implementation barriers, and the most just measurement and apportionment mechanisms.
To achieve these overarching aims, required a multidisciplinary team (geographers, economists, naval architects, marine engineers, human factor experts and energy modellers) and the division of the work into 6 work packages, from which outputs are collated to provide inputs into the holistic analysis carried out in:
WP1 – Modelling led by Dr Tristan Smith, UCLWP2 – Technologies for low carbon shipping led by Professor Sandy Day, Strathclyde
WP3 – Shipping, ports and logistics [led by Professor John Mangan, Newcastle, Professor David Gibbs, Hull and Professor Chandra Lalwani, Hull
WP4 – Shipping economics led by Miss Melanie Landamore, Newcastle and Professor John Dinwoodie, Plymouth
WP5 – Regulation, policy and incentivises led by Dr Tristan Smith, UCL
WP6 – Human Factors & Ship operations led by Professor Osman Turan, Strathclyde
Connecting outputs from each of these WPs was also carried out through the collaborative analysis of five cross-cutting research questions:
RQ1 – The relationship between transport logistics and future ship designs (e.g. novel propulsion systems) and their impact on the efficiencies of the whole system, e.g. port operations, human factors, the supply chain, including integration with other modes such as air, rail and road.
RQ2 – Demand for shipping: looking at the drivers for using shipping (for freight and people) over other modes.
RQ3 – The impacts of technical and policy solutions on future shipping scenarios.
RQ4 – Implementation barriers to low carbon shipping.
RQ5 – Measurement and apportionment: how best to measure the impact of shipping and optimise environmental gain in an international context
The research findings have been mainly produced through paper publications, both through the consortiums international annual conferences and through peer reviewed journals. The low carbon shipping project has created impact through its research and off-shoot projects, such as:
International Maritime Organisation – in collaboration with NGOs who have membership of the IMO, we has contributed to publications that are used to inform policy developments for international regulation of shipping’s GHG emissions.
Committee on Climate Change – consultation processes facilitated by the British Chamber of Shipping and ongoing dialogues regarding the estimation and forecast of shipping’s emissions that are attributable to the UK.
International Energy Agency – development of a shipping module in the IEA’s mobility model, to provide estimates of forecast GHG emissions from the shipping industry and the impact of mitigation strategies. The model will be used for policy making and to inform the IEA’s regular publications (World Energy Outlook, Energy Technology Perspectives).
“Energy Environment and Transport” – authoring a chapter “low carbon shipping” of this forthcoming book for policy makers and researchers
Carbon War Room – collaboration for events including those associated with the website “shippingefficiency.org” and the international summit “Creating Climate Wealth London”, to stimulate the removal of market barriers and facilitate commercial opportunities that will reduce the shipping industry’s GHG emissions
Sustainable Shipping Initiative – through secondments of PhD students to help with research in the financing and technology work streams
January 2010 to June 2013
Shipping in Changing Climates
Shipping in Changing Climates is a recently initiated research project funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (£3.5m funded for 3.5 years), Lloyds Register, Rolls Royce, Shell, BMT and MSI .
The SCC project seeks to understand the scope for greater energy efficiency of the supply side, understand the demand side drivers and understanding the supply and demand interactions in shipping.
The multi-university, multi-disciplinary systems research project will use ‘big data’ sources such as the Satellite AIS data, ship level smart data, to which the consortium has unparalleled access as well as combining quantitative with qualitative research methods in which the consortium has a solid background.
The long-term viability of the shipping industry is dependent on its various interconnections with ecological, environmental, economic and human systems. Currently, the industry is facing scrutiny on issues ranging from air pollution to noise pollution and from human safety to marine biodiversity.
Perhaps the most pressing issue for the industry is climate change and its mitigation. The sector is commonly cited as the most environmentally friendly form of transport but this will be a challenge in the future as it current contribution (around 3% of global CO2 emissions) is expected to increase to around 20 – 25% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions by 2050 as other sectors under national inventories decarbonise.
The industry has adopted ‘first of its kind’ international regulation in its efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions, but the impact is estimated by some to be around a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions on business as usual by 2050, far from the reductions required if the industry was to be sustainable. The SCC project aims to inform the policy making process by developing new knowledge and understanding on the subject of the shipping system, its energy efficiency and emissions, and its transition to a low carbon, more resilient future.
Some of the important questions facing the shipping industry are; How will the mandated introduction of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) in 2013 lead to changes in the fleet; will ships fit sulphur scrubbing technology or switch to distillate fuel in 2015 (MARPOL); will Selective Catalytic Reduction and Exhaust Gas Recirculation technology be compatible with scrubbing solutions to allow continued use of heavy fuel oil in Emissions Control Areas from 2016 (MARPOL); will Liquid Natural Gas become a mainstream fuel; will wind power see a renaissance and will ships remain slow or speed up again?
In the longer term, whilst the wider mitigation and adaptation rhetoric still focuses on avoiding a 2°C temperature rise, implementation to achieve this lags far behind and the current global energy consumption levels put the Earth on a trajectory to warm by 6°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
Shipping is no exception: although dialogue about its decarbonisation role and responsibilities exists at the IMO, EU and UK, no carbon policies have yet been implemented. Indeed, the EU recently suspended plans to introduce regional CO2 legislation for shipping, preferring for the time being to focus on monitoring, reporting and verification. The rapidly shifting landscape that the changing climate has the potential to create (either directly or indirectly) has implications for wider energy, food and economic systems in which shipping plays a major role: emphasising the need for strategic and long-term planning.
The consortium in the SCC project seeks to understand the scope for greater energy efficiency of the supply side, understand the demand side drivers and understanding the supply and demand interactions in shipping. To research these themes the consortium utilises its access to ‘big data’ and modelling to understand real performance trends and drivers, validate assumptions, computational simulations and models and verify whole systems results. The overall aims of the SCC project are to achieve the following:
Connect, for the first time, the latest climate change impact and adaptation analysis with knowledge and models of the shipping industry to explore its vulnerability to changing climates.
Develop greater understanding of the role of shipping in underpinning future food and fuel security in a carbon and climate constrained world.
Consolidate research taking place across a number of research projects (engineering, energy systems and shipping), both in the UK and elsewhere
Further develop the modelling capacity developed under RCUK Energy’s 2009 Low Carbon Shipping project to answer the increasing number of new questions that are emerging both since 2009 and as a result of research carried out in the last 3 years.
Achieve, through improved data and modelling techniques, an unprecedented level of credibility for models and analysis of the shipping system to enable shipping industry stakeholders and policy makers to manage uncertainty, and take the long term view.
Integrate knowledge about public and private law to identify policy options at all levels of governance and the options for private standard setting bodies (such as classification societies) to achieve significant GHG savings in a manner which is consistent with other concerns.
Engage in the UK and EU debate around control of its shipping GHG emissions, and to provide the tools to assess how governments and stakeholders can most effectively influence the pathway of a global industry, while taking into account legal and other constraints.
The whole systems approach is crucial in order to undertake to meet the objectives and address our perceptions of the knowledge deficits exposed by the state of the art and to meet the project’s aims. In recognition of the challenge of managing and delivering outcomes in a multi-university, multi-disciplinary systems research, the SCC project is organised as a three themed research structure:
Theme 1: Understanding the scope for greater energy efficiency on the transport’s supply side – the ship as a system, (UCL Mechanical engineering, Strathclyde, Newcastle)
Objective: The interconnection of ship design techniques and performance analysis with environmental conditions and operational strategy validated using real-world operator data to propose improvements to existing vessels and step-change solutions for future shipping. The theme will develop tools to simulate the ship as a system taking full account of interactions between the hydrodynamics of the hull, propulsor, main machinery and auxiliary systems in a range of realistic conditions. The tools will be used to assess the impact of modifications to existing ships and to explore step-change solutions, including both synergies and unintended negative consequences.
Theme 2: Understanding demand side drivers and trends – trade and transport demand, (UCL Energy, Manchester, Southampton)
Objective: To investigate plausible future developments of international trade and resource availability to produce a suite of global scenarios for shipping demand and its drivers. To assess a) the direct impacts of climate change and mitigation policies on the shipping system (including polices aimed specifically at ships and ports, or climate impacts on shipping infrastructure) and b) the equally important indirect impacts, such as the effect of energy system decarbonisation on the trade of fossil fuels, or climate impacts on key trading commodities.
Theme 3: Understanding supply/demand interactions – transition and evolution of the shipping system, (UCL-Energy, UCL Mechanical engineering, UCL Laws, Strathclyde Newcastle, Manchester)
Objective: Development of tools and their deployment in combination with the project’s work on supply side energy efficiency and demand side drivers for the analysis of the different pathways for the shipping industry and how transitions can be accelerated.
The interconnection between the themes and their ability to meet the aims of the project, is achieved through three cross-cutting research questions:
How much further can technical and operational interventions reduce the energy demand of the existing and new build fleet? Are theoretical improvements in performance evidenced in the real world and can the industry improve its take-up of appropriate technical and operational interventions?
What are the foreseeable “what if “ scenarios (including those associated with trajectories of 4-6 degree rise in temperatures by 2100); how are transport supply and demand influenced by food and fuel security issues and can stakeholders increase awareness and understanding of those scenarios to enable a more resilient system?
What do ‘optimal’ futures for the shipping system look like; where does the shipping system currently exhibit sub-optimality, how can shipping transition from its current configuration to a more resilient low carbon future and what would the research and implementation roadmap look like to get there?
November 2013 to April 2017
Prof. Paul Wrobel: Principal investigator for the SCC project and the LCS project. FREng (MoD Chair of Naval Architecture). He has led large projects as a Design Integration Manager at MoD; as a Technical Director at Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd during the TRIDENT development, led a multi-national team for the newly formed Thales Naval Limited winning the competition for the Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) design; and at QinetiQ as the Director of Naval Programmes. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and member of Council.
Dr. Tristan Smith: Director of the SCC project and co-ordinator of the LCS project. He is a Lecturer in Energy and Transport has, since 2010, grown a substantial shipping focused energy research group (5 post doctoral research assistants and 7 PhD students). He is also the principal investigator on the Energy Technologies Institute Heavy Duty Vehicles programme and the Virtual Centre for Ship Energy Efficiency.
Dr. Kayvan Pazouki: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. Teaching Fellow, formerly seagoing marine engineer, has expertise in engine monitoring tools through physical and inferential measurement systems. He is a co-investigator in CNSS on energy efficiency management & ship emission prediction. He is the PI of a KTP with Royston developing computer-based marine engine performance monitoring & emission prediction tools.
Prof. Joanne Scott: Involved in theme three of the SCC project. She is a Professor of European Law, Her interests are European Union Law and WTO Law, particularly law and new modes of governance, environmental law and policy and the intersections between different sub-national, national and international legal orders. She holds a Major Research Fellowship with the Leverhulme Trust (2012-2014) to undertake a project on ‘The Global Reach of EU Climate Change Law: A Game-Changing Strategy?’ She was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (2009-2011).
Dr. Alan Murphy: Involved in the theme one of the SCC project. He is a Senior Lecturer, formerly seagoing marine engineer. Expertise includes mitigating shipping exhaust emissions & reducing fuel consumption; mitigating technologies; alternative fuels; engine modelling & simulation and emissions indexes. He is a CI in Low Carbon Shipping and PI & steering committee member in the (~€4M) INTERREG (EU) Clean North Sea Shipping (CNSS) project. He also has JIPs, e.g. reducing emissions from ships with Svitzer UK.
Prof. Kevin Anderson: Co-investigator in the SCC project. He is also the Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre and holds a Chair in Energy and Climate Change within MACE. He is also a principal investigator and co-investigator on the RESNET and the SPRing project. His research has focuses on integrating Tyndall’s broad range of expertise to provide a systems level and interdisciplinary appreciation of climate change.
Dr. Alice Bows: Theme two lead of the SCC project. She is a MACE Senior Lecturer in Energy & Climate Change, linked to the Tyndall Centre and embedded within the Sustainable Consumption Institute. Alice has an international track record in conducting system-level climate change and energy research with a base in the physical sciences and principal investigator on the High Seas Project.
Dr. Osman Turan: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. He has research interests in ship design, operation, and human factors, and leads the Human Factors WP in the current LCS project. He is active in a wide range of international projects in areas of drag reduction, human factors and ship operation.
Prof. Richard Bucknall: Theme 1 lead for the SCC project. He is also the Chair of the Marine Research Group and Professor of Marine Power Systems led the MRG effort in the above EPSRC project. He has also managed academic research worth in excess of £4M and published some 100 academic papers.
Prof. Andreas Schafer: Professor of Energy and Transport, and lead author of Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World, MIT Press, 2009, has extensive experience of directing multi-disciplinary research teams through his role as Director of the Martin Centre at Cambridge University and co-director of the Institute for Aviation and the Environment at Cambridge University.
Prof. Sandy Day: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. He is the director of the Kelvin Hydrodynamics Laboratory, with wide experience in computational and experimental marine hydrodynamics applied to ships, offshore structures and marine energy devices. He is leading WP2 on technology for low carbon ships in the LCS project. He was a member of the International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC) committee on Ship Resistance for six years, and currently chairs the ITTC Specialist Committee on Hydrodynamic Testing of Marine Renewable Energy devices, tasked with setting testing standards for large hydrodynamics facilities worldwide.
Prof. Robert Nicholls: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. Professor of Coastal Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment and co-lead for the ‘Cities and Coasts’ theme of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research. (currently PI on ESPA Deltas and ICOASST projects and Co-I on Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium)
Dr. Susan Hanson: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. She is a research fellow in the Energy and Climate Change Division, works on UK and EU-funded projects on flood and erosion management and on costs and global impacts on port cities as part of World Bank, OECD and AVOID projects.
Dr. Alistair Greig: External relations in the SCC project. He has expertise in Marine Engineering and is active at IMO, in EU funded marine projects, and a member of IMarEST Council.
Dr. Paolo Agnolucci: UCL lead on theme two of the SCC project. He is an economist and statistician with experience in a number of disciplinary fields, over 20 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and several consultancy projects.
Dr. Paul Gilbert: Involved in theme two of SCC project. He is a Lecturer in Climate Change and Sustainability in MACE and directed the technical aspects of research within High Seas Project.
Prof. Atilla Incecik: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. He is a Professor of Offshore Engineering.
Dr. Rachel Pawling: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. She has expertise which includes ship design and modelling.
Dr. Nick Bradbeer: Theme one project manager. He is a naval architecture Research Associate at UCL.
Miss Melanie Landamore: Co-investigator in the SCC project. She has a MEng, MBA degrees. Her expertise includes research into sustainable shipping, through life environmental, economic and social accounting of vessels, innovative concepts for European short sea shipping and impacts of human factors on ship design and operation. She also coordinates a number of FP6&7 projects.
Miss Amrita Sidhu: Theme two project manager. She is PA to Prof. Kevin Anderson.
Dr. John Calleya: Will shortly complete a PhD in low carbon ships
Dr. Solmaz Haji Hosseinloo: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. She is a research associate at UCL Energy Institute and her speciality is transport modelling.
Dr. Nishatabbas Rehmatulla: Involved in theme three of the SCC project. He is a research associate at UCL Energy Institute and his research is on implementation of energy efficiency measures.
Dr. Sophia Parker (Nov 2013 – July 2015) – : Involved in theme three of the SCC project. She is a research a associate at UCL Energy Institute and her research is focused on modelling finance and investment.
Dr. Nicholas Joseph Lazarou: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. He is a research associate at UCL Energy Institute and he resaearches trade and transport costs in the shipping systemt.
Dr. Julia Schaumeier: Involved in theme three of the SCC project. She is a research associate at UCL Energy Institute and her research is focused on AIS data and visualisation.
Dr. Christophe McGlade: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. He is a research associate at UCL Energy Institute and his research is focused on energy commodities.
You can see a full list of publications on the Wayback Machine here.