The Nordic countries are aiming for a carbon-neutral Nordic Region. Maritime transport is one of the most important remaining sectors to decarbonize and is important from a Nordic perspective due to the relatively large Nordic involvement in this industry. The HOPE project addressed how regional shipping in the Nordic region can make the transition to become fossil-free. The project has assessed the potential role hydrogen-based maritime solutions can play in reducing Nordic greenhouse gas emissions. At the center of the project was a ship concept where a typical RORO/ROPAX vessel with operating distances of around 100 nautical miles was designed for hydrogen operation with compressed hydrogen storage and fuel cells. Other zero-emission fuels such as ammonia and methanol was compared to hydrogen and MGO as reference and the use of internal combustion engines as well as hybrid solutions with batteries were also discussed. Affected topics included technical design and costs for fuel systems and fuel handling, powertrains etc. In addition, cost analysis has been carried out and barriers and drivers for realisation of hydrogen as fuel in larger ships have been investigated. The potential for production of H2 and strategies for alternative fuels in the Nordic region has been reviewed from a shipping perspective. In the project, the consequences of switching to H2 as a fuel have been assessed and assessments have been made to clarify the realistic potential for uptake of these technologies/fuels for Nordic shipping and the benefits of lower emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants as well as impacts on the marine environment. In terms of drivers, policy options needed to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen-based marine solutions has been considered.
Open results from the project is accessable from:
The HOPE project has investigated different pathways for decarbonizing the Nordic shipping sector with the expectation of increasing knowledge on relevant topics around the potential of hydrogen and fuel cell solutions for use in ships. In the project, technology status and opportunities are investigated as well as drivers and barriers to make a changeover to hydrogen as fuel.
Findings in the project show that technology to utilize hydrogen on large ships needs further development, especially related to scaling up small systems to MW size which is required for large ships. This applies to energy converters and storage systems which need further development. The low energy density of hydrogen when including storage systems, makes hydrogen one of the most difficult fuels to use in marine applications. Other alternatives as methanol, ammonia or biofuels seem more attractive for operation on large ships with high fuel demand. Green hydrogen is not available as marine fuel in the Nordic countries today and production and supply chains need to be developed.
Drivers to investigate the adoption of green hydrogen and fuel cells include environmental commitments along with existing and upcoming policies and regulations. The main barriers are the high costs of the fuel/technology, the lack of fuel infrastructure, the lack of supply of green hydrogen, and the operational challenges for handling hydrogen (mainly in storage and bunkering). The uncertainty and high risks of using this fuel and technology are also significant barriers for early movers.
Decarbonization of ferry routes between the Nordic countries should be promoted due to the associated benefits in terms of reduced emissions. This needs coordination between the Nordic countries and development of a Nordic roadmap with binding commitments for the transition toward low and zero-emission shipping. Economic and regulatory policies are needed to reduce the barriers and to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission shipping. Hydrogen and hydrogen for fuel cells for shipping can be one pathway to obtain defined emission reduction goals. Other zero-emission fuels may be more feasible and easier to develop to meet technical requirements and operational demands in the shipping sector. Regulatory policy and economic support should be technology neutral to ensure development of cost-efficient solutions where total emission reduction in a life-cycle perspective from production to use for the fuel type in concern is considered.
Main findings are documented in news articles, technical reports and open access publications and presentations in open conferences. Additional information can be found in IVL and Nordic Energy Research home page:
The Nordic countries aim for a carbon-neutral Nordic region. Maritime transport is one of the key remaining sectors to decarbonize and is important from a Nordic perspective due to the relatively large Nordic involvement in this industry.
This project addresses how regional shipping in the Nordic region can do the transition to become fossil-free. The project aims at clarifying the potential role of hydrogen based marine solutions in reducing the Nordic greenhouse gas emissions. In the centre of the project is a ship concept where a typical RORO/ROPAX-vessel with operating distances of around 100 nautical miles is designed for including operation with hydrogen as fuel and fuel cells for energy conversion. For this concept ship other alternatives such as ammonia as fuel and the use of combustion engines and hybrid solutions with batteries will be investigated. Both the conditions for designing such a ship and the consequences will be studied. The conditions include technical design and costs of fuel systems and handling, powertrain system modelling and laboratory validation, and analysis of costs and barriers and drivers for the realisation of such a ship, (safety, legal and policy issues). Further, the potential of producing and strategies for these fuels in the Nordic region will be reviewed from a shipping perspective. For the consequences we will assess the realistic potential for uptake of these technologies/fuels by Nordic shipping and calculate the benefits regarding lower emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants as well as impact on the sea environment. In terms of drivers, policy options needed to accelerate uptake of hydrogen based marine solutions will be assessed. By also a broad range of dissemination activities (including stakeholder workshops, policy briefs, scientific papers and presentations) the project will contribute to strengthened cooperation and knowledge sharing between Nordic stakeholders linked to hydrogen and fuel cell solutions.