Criteria and decision support for a sustainable choice of alternative marine fuels

To reach the International Maritime Organization, IMO, vision of a 50% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction by 2050, there is a need for action. Good decision support is needed for decisions on fuel and energy conversion systems due to the complexity. This paper aims to get an overview of the criteria types included in present assessments of future marine fuels, to evaluate these and to highlight the most important criteria. This is done using a literature review of selected scientific articles and reports and the authors’ own insights from assessing marine fuels. There are different views regarding the goal of fuel change, what fuel names to use as well as regarding the criteria to assess, which therefore vary in the literature. Quite a few articles and reports include a comparison of several alternative fuels. To promote a transition to fuels with significant GHG reduction potential, it is crucial to apply a life cycle perspective and to assess fuel options in a multicriteria perspective. The recommended minimum set of criteria to consider when evaluating future marine fuels differ somewhat between fuels that can be used in existing ships and fuels that can be used in new types of propulsion systems.

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