The fund will be used to support the development of prototype vessels and port infrastructure that could then be rolled out widely – propelling the sector towards net-zero, as the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate change summit in November.
The government is encouraging scientists and academics to collaborate with UK shipping, ports and shipbuilders to enter ambitious proposals into the competition:
- driving economic growth
- revitalising coastal communities
- creating 1000s of jobs
- positioning the country as a leader in the field
The trials will enable companies to test the new technologies, with a view to them being developed commercially if proven to be successful, helping us build back greener from the pandemic.
The Maritime Minister confirmed the news ahead of the launch of 2 government-funded studies focused on achieving net-zero in both the recreational craft sector and offshore wind sectors.
Developed in partnership with the Carbon Trust, the new study on recreational craft, which will be published in late spring, will set out how we can overcome the barriers to the supply of, and demand for, zero-carbon recreational craft. It will make a series of recommendations to governments and industry, including using alternative fuels. Leisure boats and sports vessels are vital to the UK economy, worth almost £1.6 billion in annual exports and employing 40,000 people across the UK.
A separate study is being developed on the offshore wind sector, produced in partnership with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Workboat Association. It will bring a coalition of industry partners together to break down the barriers to moving all operational and maintenance vessels working in the North Sea offshore wind sector to zero emissions by 2025.