UK ferry operator Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL) and the University of Strathclyde have secured a £30,000 (US$40,900) grant to fund a six-month research project to explore the technical, operational, and commercial viability of using zero-carbon fuels to power ferries.
The funding award is a result of a successful joint bid to the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), which was launched in March 2021 to accelerate maritime decarbonisation in the UK.
The project, called Lifecycle Energy Solutions for Clean Scotland/UK Maritime Economy, is a feasibility study that will explore the most effective solutions that will drive down carbon emissions from the maritime sector, but will also support sustainable economic growth and industry competitiveness.
CMAL’s team of ship designers, naval architects, and marine engineers will work alongside marine academics and researchers at the University of Strathclyde to conduct a life cycle assessment on the viability of using ammonia, hydrogen, and main grid electricity for ferries. The team will design business scenarios based on 23 ferries on 27 routes on the west coast of Scotland, including predictions of the costs and benefits of the proposed alternative fuel sources and a comparison to the use of diesel.
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