The UK’s race to decarbonise the maritime sector has been given another vital boost, with £60 million in government funding distributed to innovative companies nationwide developing futuristic green technology.
For the first time, the UK government is funding the development of new clean maritime technology across a 2-year period. Companies in 12 regions around the UK will benefit from the cash, generating highly skilled jobs across the nation and positioning the UK as a world leader in green solutions.
Producing zero emissions
The Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, visited Artemis Technologies in Belfast on Tuesday 14 February to see some of the tech in action.
Using technologies adapted from the worlds of high-performance yacht racing, motorsports and aerospace, the company is developing vessels that effectively ‘fly’ above the water surface. The vessels produce zero emissions when foiling and offer energy savings of up to 90% resulting in significantly lower operating and maintenance costs.
Artemis Technologies will now use the funding to help take their invention to the seas on a commercial scale.
Clean maritime technologies
The funding comes from the third round of the government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC3), which focuses on developing a range of clean maritime technologies including hydrogen, ammonia, electric and wind power.
During the 2-year investment period, successful companies will be required to demonstrate that their projects will work in the real world, helping them to progress towards becoming an everyday reality.
Other winners include a project led by Collins River Enterprises Limited to build and test a brand new fully electric ferry on the River Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe. This builds on research funded through the first round of the CMDC.
Another project led by AceOn Battery Solar Technology Ltd will develop hydrogen-powered vessels to transfer crew to wind farms off the northeast coast of England from the Port of Blyth.
WingTek are also receiving CMDC3 funding to develop and demonstrate 2 full-sized prototypes of wind-assisted ships with high tech sails. This will reduce the amount of fuel used by the vessels as well as the emissions they produce.
Funding green technology
Today’s funding comes from the wider £206 million UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) scheme, announced in March 2022.
The CMDC is one of the many initiatives from UK SHORE to fund green technology. Last week the government launched the Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure competition to support projects in the latter stages of development and the clean maritime research hub. This is aimed at the early science and research behind green technology.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:
Our maritime sector imports 95% of goods into the UK and contributes £116 billion to our economy – more than both aviation and rail combined.
With growing the economy one of the government’s top priorities, we must continue our efforts to ensure the UK remains a pioneer in cutting-edge clean maritime solutions.
The funding we’re awarding today will help to do just that, bringing emission-free concepts to life and fuelling innovation.
Unlocking economic opportunities
Innovate UK Executive Director for Net Zero Mike Biddle said:
These 19 real world demonstration projects showcase the very best of UK clean maritime innovation and engineering, bringing a range of exciting technologies one step closer to commercial reality.
Accelerating clean maritime innovation is an important part of Innovate UK’s wider strategy and support to achieve Net Zero and unlock economic opportunities in the UK and globally.
Decarbonisation of maritime
CEO at Artemis Technologies, Dr Iain Percy OBE, said:
The clean maritime demonstration competition is key to unlocking those innovations across the region that will transport the UK towards a more sustainable future and we are thrilled that it has once again recognised the integral role Artemis Technologies can play.
With this latest round of funding, we are emboldened to advance our green technology projects, develop world-leading clean vessels for our seas, and continue on our mission to lead the decarbonisation of maritime.
From theory to reality
CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping Sarah Treseder said:
Congratulations to all the successful bids, which cover a wide range of technologies and aspects of shipping.
The UK Chamber of Shipping is committed to net zero by 2050. This funding is an important milestone in ensuring we continue to work together to achieve this important target and will help us complete the journey from theory to reality for zero emission shipping.
Artemis Technologies is delivering a project to deploy a £12 million e-hydrofoil crew transfer vessel and shore-based charging infrastructure at one of Ørsted’s farms in the UK. This project is in collaboration with Tidal Transit, Ørsted Wind Power and Lloyd’s Register.
Also, Artemis Technologies is delivering a multipurpose e-hydrofoil vessel to test beyond its use as a workboat, in collaboration with Cockwells Modern and Classic Boat Building Limited and Condor Ferries.
Artemis Technology has, to date, received over £3 million through the first 2 rounds of CMDC to develop a range of innovations. This includes a green, 24-metre workboat to transfer workers to and from offshore wind farms.
CMDC 3 winners
Carnot high efficiency hydrogen combustion engine demonstrator
This project, led by Carnot Ltd, will develop and run a hydrogen engine demonstrator for sea trials on board a shipping vessel.
In the future, this technology could be used to power:
- cargo vessels
- container ships
Multipurpose eFoiler platform
This project is led by Artemis Technologies Ltd. It will develop new electric vessels that use hydrofoils (shaped supports that lift the vessel out of the water in order to reduce drag) to ‘fly’ above the surface of the water. This reduces operational emissions by 100% and fuel costs by up to 90% through the reduction in drag.
The winds of change
This project, led by Smart Green Shipping Alliance Limited, is translating yacht racing technology to large scale commercial shipping operations. It will develop a new UK designed and built wind-assisted, 20 metre high ‘FastRig’ on board a vessel.
Pioneering onboard carbon capture: pilot project
This project, led by Seabound Carbon Ltd, is a first-of-a-kind, full-scale demonstration of a unique approach to carbon capture onboard an ocean-going vessel. The project will design, build, and test a system to capture approximately 30 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per day onboard a shipping vessel.
Zero emission solent tri foiler
This project is led by Chartwell Marine Ltd. It is looking to develop an electric hydro-foiling high-speed boat, capable of carrying up to 40 people on coastal routes, for example from Cowes to Southampton, or Hythe to Southampton. Thus, removing traffic from the roads.
High power electric offshore charging demonstrator
This project, led by Jebb Smith Ltd, will install a novel power buoy in the European Offshore Wind Demonstration Centre (EOWDC) in Orkney. The buoy will be supplied with a power from a nearby wind turbine and then used to re-charge electric crew transfer vessels operating between the Port of Aberdeen and the EOWDC.
The Electric Seaway (TES)
The project, led by Aqua superPower Limited, will provide a 100% electric charging infrastructure network along the south coast to accelerate the transition to clean maritime. The project will enable future green corridors between ports along the south coast by providing charging infrastructure.
Wings for ships
This project is led by Wing Tek Limited. It will develop and demonstrate an innovative rigid wingsail system to accelerate the deployment of wind auxiliary propulsion on large commercial vessels. The project aims to reduce fuel use, costs, pollution and CO2 emissions.
This project will deliver 2 full-size prototypes designed for mass-deployment on commercial ships.
Clean hybrid alternative marine powertrain (CHAMP) 2
This project, led by Mathwall Technologies Limited, will take forward a prototype demonstration vessel to be tested in multiple real-world environments. It explores a number of potential market applications, including:
- harbour authorities
- rescue craft
Demonstration of symbiotic wind propulsion and carbon capture system
This project, led by Windship Technology Limited, will demonstrate a route to zero emission shipping for bulkers and tankers. It will use wind propulsion to dramatically reduce fuel consumption, which when coupled with a carbon capture system, provides a route to zero emissions for ships fitted with conventional diesel engines.
Hydrogen innovation: future infrastructure and vessel evaluation and demonstration
This project is led by Acua Ocean Limited. It will combine demonstrations of a shoreside mobile hydrogen bunkering station and a zero-emission hydrogen-powered vessel, between the Port of Aberdeen to Orkney and The Shetland Islands.
Demonstration of 12pax fully-electric hydrofoiling crew transfer vessel
This project is led by Artemis Technologies Ltd. It will develop 100% electric hydrofoiling crew transfer vessels that are used daily in the offshore wind sector to transport technicians to undertake operation and maintenance activities at windfarms.
The project will develop, test and deploy the vessel and charging infrastructure at a windfarm in Barrow.
Wightlink net zero
This project is led by Helix Renewable Energy Services Ltd. It will demonstrate that clean shore power technologies can decarbonise the Gunwharf to Fishbourne passenger ferry route, by charging a fully electric ferry service within the busy daily operating schedule of its fleet.
TransShip 2: RV Prince Madog hydrogen retrofit
This project, led by O.S. Energy (UK) Ltd, aims to realise the largest retrofit to date for a hybrid, hydrogen-based propulsion system on a seagoing vessel. The project will focus on integrating the emission free operation through replacing the auxiliary drive with a hydrogen-based system, allowing slow speed and silent propulsion and hybrid battery-based operation.
Zero emission cross river ferry
This project is led by Collins River Enterprises Limited. It will design and build a new 100% electric ferry for the River Thames and construct and install infrastructure to support implementation on the example cross river route, between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe.
Retrofittable propulsion system for electric vessels with hydrogen range extender
This project is led by AceOn Battery Solar Technology Ltd. It will develop, test and deploy an innovative propulsion unit using a combined battery and hydrogen internal combustion engine on a crew transfer vessel (CTV) between the Port of Blyth and an offshore windfarm.
The project will extend the operational CTV’s range using scalable powering and propulsion technologies to mitigate emissions at low cost.
Demonstration of direct ammonia fuel cells for maritime propulsion
This project, led by ZEM Fuel Systems Limited, will implement direct ammonia fuel cells, establishing pathways to early markets and an important new supply chain for clean maritime transport. This will be achieved though developing the electrical system to work with this and developing the operational parameters demanded for successful demonstrations both on-vessel and shoreside implementations.
Coastal workboats: E-LUV
This project, led by Coastal Workboats Limited, will demonstrate a fully electric inter-island workboat in the Shetland Islands, West Burrafirth to Papa Stour. The workboat will run twice daily, 5 days a week, and with a 45-minute journey time one-way.
MorVoRen (Moored Volts from Renewables) and mermaid in Cornish
This project, led by Marine Zero Limited, will deliver a new fully electric domestic passenger vessel to operate in Falmouth, Cornwall including the provision of new charging infrastructure. The projects results and outcomes will be relevant to many other similar locations in the UK, pricing the technologies to provide 100% electric short ferry routes for local communities.
Top image: Credit: Getty Images