EU has decided on a system for Monitoring, Reporting and Verifying (MRV) emissions of carbon dioxide from ships in Europe starting 1st of January 2018. This means both that ship-owners will have to develop systems for reporting and that there will be a potential data source for assessing emissions and fuel consumption for ships. A new Lighthouse study examines how MRV data can be used by the maritime sector for the calculations of the environmental performance of shipping.
The MRV system is expected to result in reduced fuel consumption and will open up for future policy measures to reduce the emissions. This report demonstrates the methods for preparing the data for reporting, looks at uncertainties and drawbacks and discusses the potential use of the data.
The MRV will require monitoring of fuel consumption, CO2-emissions, cargo and other parameters for all voyages to or from EU ports. Yearly average data will be made publicly available on individual ship basis.
Four ways of monitoring
The fuel consumption can be monitored in four different ways: bunker delivery notes, fuel tank monitoring, fuel flow measurements or direct monitoring of CO2 emission. The way cargo is calculated varies between ship types. Actual mass of cargo is most common but also unit weight (e.g. for TEU and lane-meter) multiplied by occupancy can be used in some cases. Estimating fuel consumption from bunker delivery notes, or calculating cargo from number of units, are believed to give significant uncertainties in the results for emissions of CO2 per transport work (g CO2/tonne-NM).
Drawbacks identified with MRV, in addition to these uncertainties, are that other green-house gases, such as methane, not are included, and that upstream emissions, from fuel production and fuel transportation, also are excluded. Further, the reporting procedures for biogenic CO2 are still unclear.
Opportunities with MRV-data
However, when large amounts of data are made public in the summer of 2019 there will be an opportunity to improve benchmarking and emission calculations, especially related to transport work, which is important for increasing accuracy of emission inventory studies and cost-benefits studies of shipping. It is also suggested that the uncertainties in the calculation process and data collection should be studied further.