Thames Estuary gears up for zero emission operations

A stream of green projects along the Thames Estuary is helping the marine sector mark the shift towards net zero.

Net Zero Marine Services (NZMS) has secured capital from UK Power Networks’ Green Recovery Fund programme to support its power infrastructure along the Thames. NZMS are developing seven shore power locations in central London. These locations will create a network of high voltage power infrastructure facilities available for all Thames operators.

As part of the works, UK Power Networks will pull through new cables and install equipment that will allow for the electrification of boats along the Thames. This means less carbon emissions, reduced water contamination and cleaner air.

Adam Lakey, stakeholder engagement account manager at UK Power Networks, says: “We are reinforcing the network in this area to meet the required demand. The Green Recovery fund is allowing us to continue to help ensure reliable supplies for now and in the future to meet the government’s plans for net zero.”

UK Power Networks is delivering £66 million investment, over 86 sites, to deliver low carbon energy projects that will help achieve the Government’s Ten Point Plan towards net zero by 2050, and the Thames Estuary is one of many sites to benefit. The clock is ticking on net zero so 86 projects are being fast-tracked by the electricity firm, including electric vehicle charging hubs at motorway service stations, fleets of electric buses, community energy schemes and heat pumps.

Miles Cole, project delivery director at Net Zero Marine Services, comments: “The Thames has huge potential for sustainable growth, but operators will not make significant investments decisions in clean tech until the infrastructure and support ecosystems are in place. Things are about to change. NZMS is enabling zero emissions investment on the Thames by building a network of shore power and green hydrogen projects along the Thames Estuary. Over the next few years, the Thames is going to see a huge shift towards clean operations and those that don’t adapt will lose their competitive advantage or simply risk being left behind. We are already starting to see it.

“This Green Recovery Fund has unlocked these shore power projects by removing network reinforcement costs which would otherwise have been prohibitive. This support marks a truly pivotal moment in our work to stimulate the net zero marine sector on the river in the centre of London.”

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