News story

Government backs cutting-edge tech to drive down shipping emissions

Funding boost for low-carbon maritime technology.

Cargo ship at dusk, passing close to shore, lights visible
  • £2.3 million grant to support the development of trailblazing maritime technology
  • government to work with the investment community to help finance zero-emission shipping projects
  • latest step in Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Plan

Britain is set to become a global hub for low-carbon maritime technology, thanks to new government funding. Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani has today (10 September 2019) committed a further £1 million to fund new shipping technology projects through MarRI-UK, a consortium of leading maritime organisations.

MarRI-UK has already allocated £1 million to support early stage clean maritime projects. Today government is announcing a further £1 million for technology and innovation projects, boosting the wealth of maritime knowledge that exists in the UK to build an industry fit for the future.

Ships Ahoy! History of commercial shipping

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

I am delighted to announce this fantastic funding for pioneering research, bringing the UK ever closer to zero emission shipping.

The UK continues to lead the way on the global stage, playing a key role in reaching an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% in 2050.

This latest investment will help ensure our great maritime nation remains sustainable years into the future.

The government is also announcing a push to bring financiers and budding entrepreneurs together to help innovation flourish in the sector.

The new Green Finance for Maritime conference in Summer 2020 will bring together representatives from the government, financial services and technology sector to build relationships and broker new deals.

This will help cement the UK’s position as a global hub for the provision of green finance and move the UK even further towards zero-emission shipping.

Sarah Kenny, Vice Chair of Maritime UK said:

The UK is home to world leading maritime technology, particularly in automation. We want to be leaders in the key areas of decarbonisation and digitisation too.

MarRI-UK is the first collaborative body in the sector that brings together expertise from all parts of the sector. We back decarbonisation by 2050 and by working collaboratively with government, we will achieve this.

Already across Britain we’re seeing promising progress: from hybrid ferries to hydrogen fuel, the sector is tackling the challenge head on.

The UK has already taken a proactive role in driving this move in UK waters and is seen globally as a role model in zero-emission shipping.

Existing projects in this area include:

  • hybrid ferries being used between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight and in Scotland
  • shore-side electricity at Portsmouth, Fraserburgh and Brodick ports driving down emissions from running engines
  • a project in Orkney exploring how to directly inject hydrogen into the fuel supply of ferries, reducing Co2 emissions

Smart shipping and clean maritime, are key strands of the government’s Maritime 2050 strategy, a long term look at the opportunities for the sector for the next 30 years.

These new initiatives are helping the government deliver on its bold Clean Maritime Plan, published earlier this year to set out how it intends to clean up the sector and move to zero-emission shipping.

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Published 10 September 2019