Optimal fuel supply of green ammonia to decarbonise global shipping

09 January 2024

Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability

Jasper Verschuur et al 2024 Environ. Res.: Infrastruct. Sustain. 4 015001 DOI 10.1088/2634-4505/ad097a

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Green ammonia has been proposed as a technologically viable solution to decarbonise global shipping, yet there are conflicting ambitions for where global production, transport and fuelling infrastructure will be located. Here, we develop a spatial modelling framework to quantify the cost-optimal fuel supply to decarbonise shipping in 2050 using green ammonia. We find that the demand for green ammonia by 2050 could be three to four times the current (grey) ammonia production, requiring major new investments in infrastructure. Our model predicts a regionalisation of supply, entailing a few large supply clusters that will serve regional demand centres, with limited long-distance shipping of green ammonia fuel. In this cost-efficient model, practically all green ammonia production is predicted to lie within 40° latitudes North/South. To facilitate this transformation, investments worth USD 2 trillion would be needed, half of which will be required in low- and middle-income countries.