Photo credits @ © Copyright Mike Pennington and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0

Zero-emission ferries and cargo ships to set sail in 2 years after UK Government investment

Zero-emission ferries, cruises and cargo ships will set sail in UK waters within 2 years thanks to a £77 million state investment in clean maritime technology, announced by the Department for Transport on Monday.

You can read this article in 3 minutes

This is the first time in UK history the government is intervening to specifically target this level of funding on green maritime tech.

The funding will take the tech from the factory to the sea – identifying which projects will have a long-term impact in reducing emissions.

According to the government’s statement, successful projects must show they could use this money to work with major UK ports and operators to launch a zero-emission vessel by 2025 at the latest.

Examples of such technology include battery electric vessels, shoreside electrical power, ships running on low-carbon fuels like hydrogen or ammonia, and wind-assisted ferries.

“When it comes to tackling climate change, we are taking action on all transport modes, which is why we’re making sure our world-leading maritime sector has a greener future,” said Transport Secretary Mark Harper said. “This multi-million-pound investment will help the latest tech ideas become reality and ensure UK waters will play host to green cargo ships, ferries and cruises in the next few years.”

The multi-million-pound Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition, launched on 6 February 2023.

The competition will be overseen by Innovate UK, which has a record of delivering similar competitions across government successfully.

“This latest £77 million investment in clean maritime innovation is another major milestone in the delivery of the wider UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme to accelerate the transition to net zero,” Innovate UK Executive Director for Net Zero, Mike Biddle, commented.

The government is also calling on universities across the UK to join forces to establish a new Clean Maritime Research Hub, with £7.4 million funding from government and additional funding from academia and industry.

Research in the fundamental science behind clean maritime technologies will be delivered by the hub, building evidence and expertise for the maritime sector, claims DfT’s press release.

The hub will be delivered in partnership with and co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The ZEVI fund and Clean Maritime Research Hub are part of the UK SHORE programme, launched in March 2022 with £206 million in funding. UK SHORE aims to tackle shipping emissions and advance the UK towards a sustainable shipping future.

Photo credits © Copyright Mike Pennington and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.