World’s first green submarine amongst winners of the UK’s biggest clean maritime competition

The first ever green submarine study has been named as one of fifty-five winning projects of a £23 million Government funded R&D competition, announced this morning by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in Greenwich, as part of the greenest ever London International Shipping Week.   
World’s first green submarine amongst winners of the UK’s biggest clean maritime competition
Courtesy of Department for Transport (DfT).

The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, announced as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for Green Industrial Revolution, is supporting the development of innovative technology to propel forward the Government’s commitment to have zero emission ships operating commercially by 2025 – creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs across the nation and establishing the UK as world leaders in clean maritime. 

A fully automated net positive submarine fleet, powered entirely on green hydrogen, could help cleanse the oceans of toxic pollution by collecting microplastics on its pilot route between Glasgow and Belfast. While transporting cargo shipments, the fleet could secure significant emission savings of 27 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the first year of operation, with an overall mission to reduce 300m tonnes of CO2 emission as the fleet grows.

Also amongst the winners is an all-electric charge-point connected to an offshore wind turbine. The charge-points will be able to power boats using 100 percent renewable energy generated from the turbine offering potential savings of up to 131,100 tonnes of CO2e emissions per year - the equivalent of removing  over 62,000 cars from our roads. Similar to roadside Electric Vehicle chargepoints, these will be operated by semi-automated control, meaning that sailors can moor up by the wind turbine chargepoint, plug in, charge up, then sail on.

Announcing the winners in Greenwich, the heart of British maritime on the state-of-the art Royal Navy ship, HMS Albion, the Transport Secretary outlined how this is the latest in a string of Government initiatives aimed at cutting emissions in the sector as part of London International Shipping Week – including joining other nations in supporting a world leading absolute zero target for international shipping emissions by 2050.  

“As a proud island nation built on our maritime prowess, it is only right that we lead by example when it comes to decarbonising the sector and building back greener” said Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps. “The projects announced today showcase the best of British innovation; revolutionising existing technology and infrastructure to slash emissions, create jobs and get us another step closer to our decarbonisation targets.”  

The announcement comes as Maritime Minister Robert Courts supports the opening of the UK’s greenest cruise terminal. The Horizon Cruise Terminal at the Port of Southampton, Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port, is the first of its kind, using an innovative mix of solar panelled roofing and clean energy shore power plug-in charging for ships - pioneering the way towards greener cruising.

The initiatives follow on from the Government’s previous commitments outlined in the world-leading Transport Decarbonisation Plan to explore the establishment of a dedicated function for creating zero-emission ship building and R&D for autonomous vessel sailings, under the function of UK Shore. 

Based in the Department for Transport, UK Shore will unlock the necessary industry investment in clean maritime technologies, tackling supply and demand side barriers as well as developing infrastructure and consumer confidence in clean maritime technologies.

For additional information:

Department for Transport (DfT)

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