UCL Energy Institute


Government’s ambitious Clean Maritime Plan draws on research from UCL Energy's UMAS collaboration

11 July 2019

Years of research from UMAS – a UCL-Energy and MATRANS partnership – has been used to underpin the UK Department for Transport’s new Clean Maritime Plans

Aerial view of container ship - Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

In a new strategy document launched today by the UK Department for Transport, the Clean Maritime Plan includes policies to tackle emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from shipping, while ensuring the UK can reap the economic benefits of the global transition to zero emission shipping. 

The high level strategy document, that sets the blueprint for a pathway to zero-emission shipping for the UK, draws on years of research by UMAS (a collaboration between UCL Energy Institute and the company MATRANS), and recent UKRI funded projects led by UCL (Low Carbon Shipping and Shipping in Changing Cliamtes) in the areas of zero emissions technologies, both onboard and infrastructure, barriers to implementation, and solutions to overcome these barriers such as green financing mechanisms and long-term targets. 

On the role of technologies, for example, the Clean Maritime Plan acknowledges, drawn from UMAS evidence, “that energy efficiency improvements alone will not be sufficient and that the use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen, ammonia or methanol) will be required”, that “LNG is not estimated to be a substantial part of the fuel mix in the future” and electrification will play a smaller role compared to alternative fuels.

On the subject of why some of these technologies and alternative fuels are not being taken up and how this situation could be overcome, the Clean Maritime Plan cites the work done by UMAS on barriers and innovative financing solutions and alignment methodologies, including the recently launched Poseidon Principleswhere UCL Energy Institute worked with Global Maritime Forum to provide the technical basis for the Principles and the targets that underpin them.

UCL Energy Institute is also a member of the Clean Maritime Council, a strategic advisory body tasked with informing the development and implementation of the Clean Maritime Plan.

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