UK launches competition to 'revolutionise' maritime transport with new energy technologies

by John Shepherd
The M/V Paolo Topic uses Wärtsilä's hybrid engines, solar and battery system. Photo: Wärtsilä
The UK government has launched a £20m competition to develop "innovative zero-emission vessels and clean port infrastructure” using new energy technologies, including batteries, wind and solar power.

The fund will be used to support the development of prototype vessels and port infrastructure that could then be rolled out widely.

And the government – which is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050 – is encouraging scientists and academics to work with UK shipping, ports and shipbuilders to submit "ambitious proposals”.

'Electric boats'

Trials will be set up to enable companies to test the new technologies, which could then be developed commercially if proven to be successful, the UK’s Department for Transport said.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are revolutionising maritime technology and, from electric boats to hydrogen ports, we will change the way this country sails forever, and bring jobs and prosperity to the UK.”

Projects can focus on several themes including low and zero-emission technologies for vessels, assessing the potential for "green shipping corridors between the UK and other trading partners” and smart shipping technologies.

The competition opened on 22 March and closes on 2 June 2021. For application details, click on the link below.

Clean maritime demonstration competition