Innovative green maritime ideas, such as hydrogen-powered vessels and e-charge points at ports, could become a reality through a new £20mn competition.
On 22 March, the government announced the launch of the fund, which will be used to support the development of prototype vessels and port infrastructure that can then be rolled out more widely, should trials prove to be successful. It is calling on scientists and academics to collaborate with UK shipping, ports and shipbuilders to devise proposals that drive economic growth, can revitalise coastal communities, create jobs and position the UK as a leader in the field.
It also confirmed it will be funding two studies centred around achieving net zero in the recreational craft sector and offshore wind sectors. The former, developed in partnership with the Carbon Trust, will be published in late spring and outline how barriers to the supply of, and demand for, zero-carbon recreational craft – such as leisure boats and sports vessels – can be overcome. It will make a series of recommendations to government and industry, which will include use of alternative fuels.
The study being developed on the offshore wind sector – produced in partnership with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Workboat Association – will look to bring a coalition of industry partners together to break down barriers to moving all operational and maintenance vessels working in the North Sea offshore wind sector to zero emissions by 2025.