Latin America could benefit greatly from the opportunities offered by the decarbonization of the marine sector. Thus it considers the Global Maritime Forum, non-profit organization of the marine industry, that, together with the Getting to Zero Coalition, the platform managed by the GMF whose purpose is to promote the development of zero-emission ships, has analyzed the perspectives of Latin America in the within of the decarbonization of the shipping, highlighting that the region is faced with different opportunities currently not exploited and linked to the transition of the world marine ecosystem towards the zero use of scalable emissions.
The analysis recalls that today the international marine industry is strongly dependent on fossil fuels, in particular heavy fuel oil (HFO), burning about 300 million tons per year and emitting about one billion tons of CO2. This - the study specifies - implies that the emissions of world shipping represent between 2% and 3% of annual global emissions, a total that should tend to increase compared to other activities of the economy that will be able to electrify and reduce its emissions at a faster pace.
Explaining that in order to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement it is essential that the marine ecosystem is able to reach the zeroing of the emissions by 2050, the analysis finds that, assuming that the marine ecosystem passes completely from the HFO to the green ammonia, this would represent the consumption of more than 900 million tons per year of green ammonia, that is more than five times the current total production of conventional ammonia. This - they detect the Global Maritime Forum and the Getting to Zero Coalition - signals the emergence of new opportunities of a market value of trillions of dollars, as the nations can produce at the lowest cost of green hydrogen, the base of all the scalable fuels to zero emissions, have in front of a huge potential deriving from the supply of the fuels necessary to decarbonize the shipping.
The study notes that in the coming decades the decarbonization of this and other sectors will require a massive increase in the production of green hydrogen and the International Agency for Renewable Energy (IRENA) provides that by 2050 hydrogen could represent about 12% of global energy consumption, which would mean the growth of a new huge market necessary to support the decarbonization of many important industrial sectors. The analysis emphasizes that, in the specific case of the marine industry, green hydrogen will be necessary in large quantities to synthesize marine fuels with zero emissions, such as green ammonia and green methanol.
Observing that the drive towards the use of hydrogen-derived green fuels is already in place and that several large shipping companies have already made orders for large ships able to operate with zero-emission fuels, the analysis emphasizes that in Latin America there are some of the most suitable countries to produce green hydrogen in a competitive and large scale way. In this regard the document recalls that, for example, many studies cite Chile as the country with the most accessible green hydrogen production potential in the world and that also countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are considered to have great potential thanks to their access to solar and wind resources. In addition, several countries of the region have set themselves the goal of achieving 70% of renewable energy use by 2030, which is one of the most ambitious objectives at global level. The study of the Global Maritime Forum and the Getting to Zero Coalition highlights that the high access possibilities of Latin America to renewable energy and its high ambition levels make the region one of the main exporters of green hydrogen in the coming decades.