‘Slow-steaming’ Could Help Shipping Industry Cut Emissions 30%

by | Mar 24, 2010

slow steamingOvercapacity in the global shipping market means that ships have the opportunity to slow down over the next three years, helping achieve potential emissions cut of 30 percent, reports Reuters.

The estimates, from Seas At Risk and CE Delft, show that emissions targets can be met without the need to retrofit slow-steaming equipment.

The estimates mesh with recent findings by Danish shipping company Maersk, which has cut fuel consumption on major routes by as much as 30 percent, as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an equal amount by cutting the top cruising speed of its ships in half over the past two years.

The Seas at Risk study shows that bulk carriers can see “pronounced” emissions reductions of up to 40 percent.

Generally, a 10 percent reduction in speed correlated with a drop in emissions of about 27 percent per unit of time, or 19 percent per unit of distance.

Shipping emitted roughly 3.3 percent of global man-made greenhouse gases in 2007, according to the report (PDF).

In other news about reducing emissions of vessels, a Port of Los Angeles tour boat is readying itself to be converted to a hybrid vessel. The 40-passenger vessel, which is used by the port for promotional tours, could cut its energy use in half and emissions by 95 percent, according to a press release.

The retrofit s expected to cost $489,000.

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