The work, commissioned by UK Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered by E4tech and UMAS, finds a wide range of UK locations where innovation strengths could combine with local demand for clean solutions, providing a foundation for maritime clusters. New fuels and propulsion technologies open doors for new supply chains to form, but also for existing sectors to evolve on the basis of established strengths.

The study looked at a shortlist of 5 technologies; shore power, ammonia from natural gas with carbon capture & storage, hyrdogen from renewable electricity, electric propulsion and fuel cells, and finds that the potential for clustering varies according to the technologies, for example for ammonia (NG + CCS) Teeside, Humberside and Merseyside have the greatest potential, whereas hydrogen from renewable electricity the North West and Orkney have the greatest potential.

The UK’s Clean Maritime Plan set out the Government’s roadmap to decarbonise the domestic maritime sector by 2050. The Plan set an ambition for the UK to have built a number of clean maritime clusters, combining innovation and infrastructure for the use of zero emission propulsion technologies, across the country by 2035. To inform UK policy in this area, the Plan committed to undertake a study to ‘identify and support potential UK zero emission shipping clusters’. This study delivers on that commitment. DfT is using this research to better understand the opportunities and challenges arising from clustering and the role that policy can play.

This study also contributes to the growing academic literature exploring the topic of clustering over the past decade. UMAS is undertaking further research on this through funding received from CREDS in order to identify the most suitable locations for ammonia and hydrogen as marine fuels to reduce emissions and develop long term sustainable energy demand.

The full report can be downloaded here