Researchers have proposed a new zero-carbon coastal highway to help decarbonise the shipping industry.
Researchers at the University of Southampton have worked together with Shell Shipping and the BMT Group to plan for a future where zero-carbon ships can transport goods around the UK via the country’s ports.
The researchers have submitted a comprehensive Spending Review Bid asking the government for £530m of co-investment.
The organisation estimates that this project would add £1.8bn additional revenue to the UK, create 39,000 extra jobs and reduce land-based CO2 emissions by between 30 – 40%.
Moving goods by water is already understood to be one of the most energy-efficient approaches, and under these new plans to decarbonise the fleet, this would shift transport away from the UK’s roads and rail networks onto the water.
Professor Stephen Turnock, head of civil, maritime and environmental engineering at the University of Southampton, said: ‘Examining the transport logistics system as whole will allow many of our smaller ports to be transformed, sustaining their localities and reducing the growing pressures on our road and rail bottlenecks.
‘It will revolutionise the approach to vessel traffic management and greatly ease the development of maritime autonomous systems development.
‘Front and centre to this proposal is the need to decarbonise shipping. The development of a flagship fleet of zero-carbon ships will allow us to take the bold step needed to replace fossil fuels with an energy source that has pollutant-free emissions will blaze a trail to the industry worldwide showing how it can be done.’
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