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Greenhouse gas reductions in marine leisure propulsion

Ricardo undertook an LCA, TCO and practicality analysis to identify the most suitable propulsion technologies able to decarbonise the recreational craft sector​.



As climate change receives major political and societal attention, the marine leisure industry is expected to present ways to address reduced carbon emissions for the sector​.
ICOMIA commissioned Ricardo to identify suitable propulsion technologies for the recreational craft sector to help gradually reduce and/or neutralise the footprint from fossil fuel carbon in the marine leisure industry​.



Sustainable fuel, hydrogen, hybrid-electric, pure battery electric power system options were considered for 9 craft categories with <24m hull length

For each decarbonisation option applied to each of the 9 craft categories:​

  • Derived power system specifications mitigating range, on-board volume and mass impacts based on market expectations and typical usage patterns.
  • LCA compliant to ISO 14067 to compare cradle-to-grave GHG emissions in 2022 and 2035 across different regional and energy mix scenarios.
  • TCO analysis to compare economical viability of propulsion system options and marina refueling infrastructure in 2022 and 2035.
  • Review of availability of fuels, Technology CRL and practicality implications.
  • Decision matrix approach to determine most suitable options through to 2035.



ICOMIA was able to identify the most suitable propulsion system options to decarbonise the recreational craft sector along with associated hotspots​. 

By commissioning the study to Ricardo, an independent consultancy with deep expertise in low carbon technologies and vast LCA experience, allowed ICOMIA to receive findings respected globally by policy makers​.

ICOMIA plans to utilise the information to inform stakeholders and to promote effective actions to decarbonise the leisure marine sector.



Key Services

Strategic consulting
Environmental consulting

Start and end dates

08/2022 - 09/2023

Ricardo Personnel Involved

Albert Zenie
Nick Powell
Sam Hinton



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