- The marine alternate propulsion system is a type of marine vessel engine that is propelled by energy sources other than gasoline and diesel. Conventional energy sources, such as gasoline, diesel, and coal, are finite and are expected to exhaust in the near future. On the other hand, nonconventional energy sources, such as solar, wind, and tidal energy, are available abundantly and can be utilized repeatedly.
- All conventional energy sources are chemical compositions of various hydrocarbons and produce pollutant particulate, such as COX, NOX, on combustion, which is harmful for the environment. Therefore, efforts are being taken, globally, to reduce air pollution and improve air quality, which in turn drives the demand for systems or engines that utilize nonconventional energy sources, or engine technology that help reduce emissions. Consequently, this is driving the need for research and development of marine alternate propulsion systems.
Key drivers of global marine alternate propulsion market
- Diesel marine propulsions systems are extensively used, as compared other type of marine propulsion systems. This system is primarily adopted in various marine vessels such as small boats, motor boats, and defense marine vessels. Diesel marine propulsion systems generate high levels of carbon emissions. Various government rules and regulations restrict the usage of these type of systems. For instance, MARPOL Annex VI, which has been a compulsory regulation since 2016. MARPOL Annex VI defines various engine and vessel requirements related to air pollution.
- Nuclear marine propulsion systems are mostly adopted in defense marine vessels. These systems not only propel the ship but also generate electricity for it. The use of nuclear marine propulsion system is restricted to only naval ships owing to national security concerns of the country.
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- Nonconventional energy consuming marine propulsion systems, such as wind propulsion and solar propulsion systems, are significantly ecofriendly and cause less carbon emissions. For instance, solar propulsion systems are capable of generating electricity with higher capacitance up to 40 kilowatts (kW), which is utilized for propulsion and does not cause carbon emissions.
- Hydrogen fuel cell marine propulsion system is a highly efficient marine propulsion system in terms of carbon emission. The fuel cell in this system converts chemical energy stored in the cell into electricity through a reaction with atmospheric oxygen. This type of cell does not require charging and can work continuously as long as it is supplied with compatible fuel such as LNG, methanol, or biogas.
- Less carbon emitting technologies are preferred by air pollution regulatory authorities since they comply with rules and regulations. These factors are driving the market for marine alternate propulsion system.
Diesel marine propulsion segment dominates marine alternate propulsion market
- Diesel powered engines generate higher torque and consequently propel the ship at a rapid pace. They also enable ships to carry large cargos over longer distances. New technologies are being developed that would enable diesel marine propulsion systems to reduce carbon emissions. For instance, a turbocharger enables a diesel engine to generate equal amount of power that is generated by a larger engine. The use of turbocharger reduces the size and overall weight of the diesel engine. This is driving the adoption of turbochargers, thereby propelling the diesel marine propulsion segment of the market.
- Solar powered marine vessels use clean energy source that does not emit any carbon emission, while solar energy is available abundantly. This is also attracting investors to invest in further research and development of solar propulsion systems. This, in turn, drives the segment.
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Need for large capital investment hampers marine alternate propulsion market
- Marine propulsion by nonconventional energy sources causes less carbon emissions; however, the cost of these technologies is considerably high. Furthermore, extensive research and development requires large capital investment.
- The heavy machinery required for ship building and transportation costs of material required for shipbuilding are also higher. The larger the size of the ship, the more time required to build it. All these factors are hampering the marine alternate propulsion market.
Asia Pacific to dominate global marine alternate propulsion market
- Asia Pacific region dominates the global market for marine alternate propulsion owing to expansion of shipbuilding industries and increase in foreign direct investments that propel research and development in countries, such as China and South Korea, in the region.
- Sea voyage for transporting crude oil from countries in the Middle East to those across Asia Pacific and rest of the world, owing to cheaper transport cost and large cargo carrying capacities, drives the marine alternate propulsion market.