Within the JOULES project, the maritime industry has taken up the challenge to significantly reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from shipping via the development of a design, evaluation and assessment methodology which allows for a comprehensive judgement of future design concepts.

An innovative JOULES Ship Design Methodology combining the simulation of the entire ship's energy grid with a subsequent integrated Life Cycle Performance Assessment (LCPA) has been developed. The integrated LCPA includes for the first time a holistic economic and ecological assessment methodology incl. well to tank contributions for fuel production. Detailed insight has been achieved on the complex interactions between the societies request for reduction of GHG-emissions and future innovative combinations of on-board technologies and sustainable fuels needed to comply with challenging reduction targets.

The methodology has been applied to eleven application cases in a joint effort between component and system suppliers, research and knowledge institutes, system integrators and shipyards. Information on simulation components was provided in neutral format in a central database and thus could be transferred digitally amongst the partners. This innovative way of working through digital data sharing has enabled the involved shipyards to set-up holistic simulation models of the entire ship's energy grids which gained them novel insight and enabled them to optimize the overall energy usage and therefore efficiently reduce the corresponding emissions. Moreover, this joined effort resulted in drastic improvements in the capabilities of European shipyards and maritime suppliers to co-develop and design energy efficient ships and ship systems. This new way of working is future-proof and flexible to adapt to technologies that will emerge in the future.

Finally, an economic assessment as an integrated part of the LCPA has been carried out for the eleven application cases and three demonstrator cases to identify under which constraints the developed innovative ship design concepts could be expected to be economic viable.

Following the extensive work carried out in JOULES and based on the economic and ecological information retrieved from the results, political recommendations have been worked out to support the transition from today's fossil fuel based shipping industry to an ultra-low emission future of shipping.