The UK Government announced that it has committed to spending millions on funding innovative technologies and fuels to reduce maritime emissions, and help create a zero-emissions sector.
In partnership with industry, UK will spend over £6 million on funding trials of innovative energy saving devices, such as propellers, onboard waste heat recovery and rotor sails that use wind power to cut fuel consumption.
In addition to funding trials, the government is also providing technical backing and expertise through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for the following projects:
- work in Scotland to prove the use of hydrogen fuel cells for ferries in the UK
- Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries ongoing work to deliver innovative vessels such as hybrids, and their longer term efforts to prove the use of innovative propulsion and fuels for the next generation of ferries
As explained, maritime transport emits around 1,000 million tonnes of CO₂ annually worldwide, and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If emissions from international shipping are not addressed, studies suggest they will account for almost a fifth (17%) of global emissions by 2050, highlighting the need for urgent action.
Further, the country implements binding energy efficiency targets for shipping, secured by global agreement in 2011. By 2025, the majority of new ships will be expected to be 30% more efficient than current designs.
In addition, the government has also been working closely with industry to develop international regulations to support liquid natural gas and other alternative fuels. Vessels fueled with LNG are regularly refueling in the UK at ports including Teesport, Southampton and Immingham.
Concluding, the UK already has several hybrid ships operating in its waters. These systems offer local air quality benefits, can be quieter for port communities and provide opportunities for further energy efficiency on board a vessel.