Electrifying the Broads

 

 

This pathfinding feasibility study concludes Phase 1 of the Electrifying the Broads project which contains a proposal for carrying out a demonstration of the findings from September 2022 to March 2024. 

Key findings include:

  • A battery-electric holiday cruiser is viable with sufficient onboard electrical storage.

  • Shoreside charging infrastructure will be necessary at strategic locations to facilitate 'electric corridors' over the inland waterways.

  • The balance between investment in onboard energy storage and shoreside infrastructure, and returns in terms of greenhouse gas reduction, positive economic and environmental benefits are an optimisation challenge that can be represented as a trilemma.

  • Data from the proposed demonstration will provide essential insights into refining the solutions to meet the needs of this whole systems challenge.

  • Currently, the most cost effective approach to electrification is through a hybrid mix of marine and automotive technologies. Hydrogen may have a role to play by 2030.

  • Scale up will require use of fast AC and rapid DC charging facilities with attractive opportunities for bi-directional charging, especially at boatyards.

  • Carbon abatement must take into account Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. At present batteries represent a large contributor to upstream emissions but this can be reduced when they are built in the UK.

  • Mitigation efforts should focus on converting the most heavily used vessels to electric systems first. In the context of the Broads, these are hire cruisers. 

Download the report here -  

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Electrifying the Broads is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) launched in March 2021, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC, the Department allocated more than £23 million to 55 projects supported by 208 organisations from across the UK.

 

The CMDC was announced as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to position the UK at the forefront of clean maritime technologies and reduce emissions from the sector. The CMDC is supporting the research, design, and development of zero emission vessel and infrastructure solutions to enable clean technologies to commercialise and to accelerate the decarbonisation of the maritime sector. The programme is funding projects from across the entire UK, including in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as from the South West to the North East of England. We are proud to be part of a competition that supports UK innovators to achieve Net Zero.

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