The UK’s first zero-carbon electric passenger ferry will set sail in Plymouth following trials. The pioneering project, supported by the Department of Transport, was funded by Maritime Research and Innovation UK as part of an effort to increase carbon reduction in the British maritime industry.
Should the trials prove successful, the e-Voyager will begin ferrying passengers in April 2021. Technology used in the construction of the ferry, such as the electric motor designed by EV Parts, is set to be installed in other seafaring vehicles should it be approved by regulatory bodies.
The expansion of this technology into other vessels reinforces the move towards green technology as a practical and responsible alternative. It is also part of an effort to meet government targets of a 50% reduction in maritime emissions by 2050.
While the ferry is small compared to other vessels, the project is seen as a major step towards electric propulsion in the maritime industry. The electric motor can be charged between journeys or overnight and is said to take under three hours to charge.
Larger vessels are set to undergo a similar transformation to electric propulsion in an effort to reduce noise and air pollution, and overall CO2 emissions.
International Maritime Organisation Agrees Carbon Reduction Measures for Global Shipping
The UN International Maritime Organisation has agreed to reduce carbon emissions in the maritime sector, with the aim of achieving a 40% reduction in carbon intensity, compared with 2008 levels, over the next 10 years.
The proposals, which are set to be legally binding, were supported by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). Included in the agreement is a framework which outlines the regulatory measures the shipping industry will have to abide by in order to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030.
As a result of the agreement, the ICS welcomed the measures to meet the existing target of carbon reduction by 2030. The agreement also includes a rating system in which shipowners are ranked on their carbon performance. It is hoped that the rating system will encourage maritime businesses to take carbon efficiency seriously.
Green Campaigners Criticise IMO Carbon Reduction Agreement
Green campaigners have criticised the International Maritime Organisation, arguing that the agreement for a 40% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 does not ensure absolute zero-carbon emissions in the maritime industry.
Despite the agreement being welcomed by the International Chamber of Shipping, concerns have been raised by environmental groups, including Pacific Environment and the Clean Shipping Coalition about the continuation of carbon dioxide emissions. Campaigners have argued that while ships can increase their carbon efficiency, overall carbon emissions can still increase.
According to The Guardian, 2.5% of global emissions are a result of international shipping. Critics of the agreement say the targets to reduce CO2 – and the proposals, do not go far enough.
The debate surrounding carbon emissions shows how important the issue is for maritime businesses and their brand. The launching of the UK’s first electric ferry highlights how the maritime industry is adapting to the emergence of green technology to combat carbon emissions.
You should take full advantage of this by marketing your marine engineering business as socially responsible and stay in touch with the latest developments. It is also wise to be aware of the debates surrounding green technology in the maritime industry to ensure your content is informed and accurate.