Voyage to net zero in maritime underway as UK confirms £12 million for zero-emission technologies

Zero-emission ferries and vessels are one step closer to being a reality, as Maritime Minister Robert Courts today (24 May 2022) confirmed £12 million funding to accelerate the research and development of zero-emission maritime technologies.

Now in its second round, the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) was born out of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan to tackle carbon emissions. The latest funding cements the UK’s position as world leaders in clean maritime technologies and supports the creation of thousands of skilled jobs across the UK.

The CMDC is one of the first initiatives from UK SHORE, a new unit launched to make the maritime sector greener. Dedicated to creating a world free from shipping emissions, UK SHORE will work with industry to tackle numerous shipping emission challenges.

Through research and development (R&D) investments, it will include the provision of domestic zero-emission ferries, helping to tackle the approximately 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions that roll-on/roll-off vessels and passenger-only ferries contribute to the UK’s domestic shipping emissions.

Robert Courts MP, Minister for Maritime said:

“I want to see a new green age for maritime travel that is free from emissions.

Following the success of last year’s competition, this second round has been designed to support a shipping future that uses the most creative and innovative ways for people and goods to sail in cleaner and greener ways.

At COP26, we pledged to create a green maritime legacy for generations to come, and UK SHORE puts us at the forefront of the global green maritime revolution – supporting thousands of green jobs around the country.

The Maritime Minister announced the funding for the competition today in Portsmouth, the heartland of British shipping, as he met with some of the 55 winners from last year’s competition. At Portsmouth International Port, some of the previous winners showcased their projects.

One of the winners last year, MJR Controls, won funding to create wind turbine charge points for electrical vessels. Eight months on, it has created the charging ports and the installation will take place around late summer in Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore wind farms.

Fulfilling the Clydebank Declaration agreed at COP26 to create green routes known as ‘green shipping corridors’ to and from the UK, this next round of the CMDC funding will include feasibility studies to help us work in partnership with industry to ultimately deliver green corridors both within the UK and internationally.

The £206 million research and development funding for UK SHORE, the biggest investment in maritime ever, was announced as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy in March 2022. This investment will accelerate the sector’s transition to a cleaner future supporting our voyage to net zero by 2050.”

Maritime UK Chief Executive, Ben Murray, said:

“The establishment of UK SHORE is a very important step on the UK maritime sector’s decarbonisation voyage.

Its first intervention – an extension to the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition – is showing the UK is determined to be a global leader in clean maritime. As before, industry will co-invest to create the solutions needed to decarbonise.

The projects on display today – from remotely operated vessels to green port infrastructure and electric wind turbine charging points – proves Britain remains an island of maritime pioneers.

Continued investment and collaboration with government will drive the momentum we need and create skilled jobs around our coast.”

UK Chamber of Shipping Policy Director (Safety and Environment), Anna Ziou, said:

“The UK Chamber of Shipping welcomes the announcement of the second round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.

The journey toward the decarbonisation of shipping has started and these investments are critical to charter a clear pathway.

We are looking forward to working closely with the government and the UK SHORE to secure further funding opportunities for the industry and explore the necessary transformative actions to help shipping deliver the commitment to net zero.

The first Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition was launched last year by DfT to kickstart innovation in decarbonisation in the maritime sector.”

Future elements of UK SHORE’s 3-year programme will include several more rounds of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition alongside other interventions to accelerate the development and use of key technologies.


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