JERSEY plans to test the use of hydrogen fuel technology in its maritime sector in a move that the Chief Minister hopes will put the Island at ‘the forefront of the global transition to net-zero’.
A new partnership with marine-hydrogen accelerator OceansLab demonstrates the Island’s commitment to decarbonisation, the government said.
OceansLab, led by Jersey round-the-world yachtsman Phil Sharp, and Ports of Jersey will look at the use of hydrogen technology in port infrastructure and vessels including ferries, lifeboats and cargo ships.
Chief Minister Kristina Moore said: ‘As a small Island, Jersey is highly dependent on transporting both freight and passengers through the Harbour and Airport.
‘Jersey has committed to meeting net-zero commitments in line with both the Paris Agreement and Carbon Neutral Roadmap, and we are keen to explore new options for accelerating a move to sustainable aviation and marine fuel.
‘If we can learn from others and share expertise, we can be at the forefront of the global transition to net-zero.’
In addition, the partnership will see the government become a brand ambassador for the OceansLab race boat as it competes without fossil fuels, emitting only water as a by-product of the hydrogen fuel cell, in the IMOCA Globe Series.
Mr Sharp said: ‘The strong winds and tides offshore around Jersey provide enormous potential for Jersey to reach net-zero and become more energy resilient with hydrogen, and the opportunity to take the lead as one of the first islands to do so.
‘This partnership will really explore how we can apply hydrogen fuel-cell technology and green hydrogen fuels to start de-carbonising the Island’s maritime industry as well as its wider transport applications.’
Meanwhile, a collaboration between airline Blue Islands and Universal Hydrogen is trialling the use of green hydrogen as an alternative, fully decarbonised aviation fuel.
Ports chief executive Matt Thomas said: ‘Our main role is to keep Islanders connected with the rest of the world, and it’s our responsibility to work towards sustainable, decarbonised travel.
‘We want to be at the forefront of providing truly sustainable travel, and we have been working with Universal Hydrogen and Blue Islands to achieve this for aviation.’
Ports of Jersey technicians will work alongside OceansLab to test the applicability of the hydrogen fuel-cell technology on a small tug.
Mr Thomas added: ‘Initially we will be exploring the possibility of powering our next tugboat with hydrogen, but this is the first step towards a zero-emissions marine industry which will ultimately benefit Islanders and the planet.’