January 18, 2023
by Robert Gage, P.Eng.
The Paris Agreement has put considerable pressure on the marine industry to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions, with some companies committing to be carbon neutral in the coming years. This has spurred significant interest in alternative fuels as a path to net zero emissions. Numerous papers and studies have been published reviewing the efficacy of these fuels, but these are mainly targeted to large ocean-going vessels. This paper aims to address the relative merits of the leading alternative fuels and their impact on harbour and escort tug design. Proven solutions exist today for zero emissions operations, but they have limitations, and are not suitable for all applications. There are technological and logistical barriers that need to be overcome before a universally applicable zero carbon solution emerges. In the interim, there are low carbon solutions that show significant promise in making an impact on carbon emissions now.