Christina Kelly, QUB, attended the online Decarbonising Ports & Harbours Innovation Network launch on 13 October 2020 (more information available at: https://ktn-uk.org/events/decarbonising-ports-harbours-innovation-network-launch/).
This event was hosted by the Knowledge Transfer Network and Maritime UK. The webinar included an expert panel discussing the challenges and opportunities for decarbonising maritime infrastructure in the UK. In terms of challenges, the panel highlighted the need for better integration and a systems approach to decarbonisation in the maritime transport sector. In particular, political leadership and fragmented governance were cited as barriers towards achieving a transition to net-zero emissions.
In terms of opportunities, the panel highlighted decarbonisation as a means to improve economic resilience, with less reliance on fossil fuels and diversification in alternative sources of energy provision. Initiatives which involved retrofitting, energy efficiency and energy management systems had already resulted in reduced emissions and energy use and greater efficiency in a number of UK ports. The webinar also referred to a number of R&D projects in clean energy and technologies which may be scaled up the future in the transition to cleaner ports and harbours.
This webinar was of relevance to the MOSES project, which investigates Blue Growth in maritime sectors and, in particular, the QUB-led case study which examines pathways towards sustainability in the ports and shipping sectors. QUB look forward to learning more about this innovation network which aims to drive change to cleaner air and net-zero emissions in ports and harbours.