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DNV to help wind turbine installation vessels decarbonise

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Independent risk management and assurance firm DNV has launched a new project to establish decarbonisation metrics for wind turbine installation vessels (WTIV), which will help them comply with European legislation.

  • DNV has launched a to develop a framework to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions metrics for vessels that install offshore wind capacity.
  • An increase in offshore wind installations will bump capital spending on vessels, which will need their own benchmarks for emissions reductions to enable comparisons with other sector segments.
  • The project is expected to help offshore wind vessels deal with the inclusion of the maritime industry in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) and in complying with the ‘Fit for 55’ legislation.

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Tracking Transport said that transportation sector emissions need to be cut by 20% by 2030 in order to meet the 2050 net zero scenario. Based on IEA’s analysis, shipping, along with heavy trucks and aviation, will see a slower rate of decline in emissions by 2030 as they are still in the nascent stage of their efforts to decarbonise.

What is DNV’s project?

DNV said that joint industry projects (JIP) are a way of tackling complex problems or issues by combining entities that have unique skills, technological know-how and expertise within a partnership, which would be infeasible to be handled by one party alone. This is expected to not only provide an optimal mix of capabilities, but also enable the sharing of costs and mitigation of risks. DNV has experience in initiating and managing JIPs, which are typically funded by two or more industry partners.

With the latest JIP, called EMRED, DNV is looking to create a framework to monitor and report GHG emissions involved in installing offshore wind power projects. The partners involved in this JIP include energy companies such as ScottishPower Renewables, RWE (ETR:RWE), Vattenfall, Orsted (CPH:ORSTED), as well as installation andoperation companies Jan De Nul Group, DEME (EBR:DEME), Ziton, Cadeler (FRA:CA2), Van Oord, and Fred. Olsen Windcarrier.

Why is DNV undertaking this JIP?

According to DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook, offshore wind power will form a large part of renewable energy generation by 2050, and is forecast to supply 15% of the world’s total electricity generation. The installation of this new and added capacity in offshore wind power will require a 50% rise in capital spending on installation vessels, DNV estimated.

Given the inclusion of maritime transport in the EU ETS, the JIP will seek to create a foundation to measure GHG emissions by establishing a set of emissions metrics. This will include metrics for the various types of jobs that vessels perform in the installation process including dynamic positioning, standby, transit and lifting. 

The partners involved in the  JIP will also create a benchmark of values for operations that allow for comparisons with other segments in the shipping industry, giving internal and external stakeholders a basis of comparison for the efficiency of operations and emissions management and reduction.

It is hoped that EMRED will result in a standardised set of indicators that could be used more widely by the maritime industry, helping the sector with its decarbonisation plans. It will focus primarily on vessels used to create the offshore foundation, installation and those used to lay cables.

“As the global energy transition accelerates, transparent emissions reporting is becoming an essential part of the expectations that all players in the shipping industry have to meet,” said Arnstein Eknes, DNV segment director for special ships. “But most of our current metrics track transport work, i.e., emissions per ton miles. This leaves us with a gap for vessels in the offshore wind installation segment, where the types of work performed is much more complex. Our aim is to create a shared set of standards for tracking and reporting these emissions, one that covers these varied work modes, propulsion modes, and operational activities.”

Decarbonisation of maritime transport is an EU imperative

In November 2022, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of including maritime transport in the EU ETS, which will apply from 2023. It is part of the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package, which requires a 62% cut in the bloc’s ‘GHG’ emissions by 2030. The World Shipping Council said this is expected to help the sector’s decarbonisation journey.

MEPs also want the maritime sector to cut GHG emissions from ships by 2% before 2025, by 20% by 2035 and by 80% by 2050, compared to 2020 levels. The reduction also applies to all energy used on board ships in or between EU ports, and to 50% of the energy that is used for travelling to or from ports outside the bloc.

These cuts would apply to ships plying a gross tonnage of 5,000 tons or higher, which account for 90% of CO2 emissions in the sector. The industry’s transition will require significant investment in transition technologies, especially in the offshore wind segment where gross tonnage for WTIV can exceed 19,000 tons.

By creating metrics and benchmarks for the WTIVs, EMRED could provide meaningful help in identifying efficiencies and best practices in the shipping industry, while also giving regulators a means to set measures that address the unique characteristics of the segment.

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