Shipping, Hydrogen and Port Ecosystems UK

The SHAPE UK project is leading the way in creating the future fuel ecosystem to power a decarbonized maritime sector. Hydrogen presents significant opportunities as a future fuel for the maritime sector, as well as other transport modes. As multi-modal transport hubs, at the interface of land and sea, ports have a crucial role to play in enabling and supporting the transition to a cleaner maritime sector and a cleaner future for coastal communities.

An ambitious project has been awarded £1.5 million to help develop and demonstrate a Green Hydrogen energy system within Portsmouth International Port.

Maritime operations are crucial to the efficient movement of goods nationally and globally but are often high contributors of CO2e emissions and other air pollutants. The adoption of green low carbon energy systems offers the potential to support the necessary transition of ports and their operations to net-zero.

Portsmouth International Port is the UK's largest and most successful municipal port, owned by Portsmouth City Council, and is one of the sites of the new Solent Freeport. It is committed to becoming the first carbon neutral UK port by 2030, and the first zero-emission port by 2050.

The SHAPE UK project will help identify the barriers, infrastructure and regulatory considerations that will enable port managers to install a “Green Hydrogen” generation and storage system within the port. It will also supply a working vessel to the port authority, powered by an engine using green hydrogen.

Green hydrogen uses renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to power the electrolysis of water to create hydrogen, which will be used to power maritime vessels and dockside vehicles.

SHAPE UK, led by the University of Portsmouth, brings together a wide range of expertise from industry and academia.

All of the work will be tied together in the form of impact analysis, workable business models and recommendations and plans for future scalability in other ports across the UK.

Introduction to project outputs

SHAPE UK introduction