Kent research could pave the way for electric cross-channel ferries

Credit: Gareth Fuller / PA

Researchers in Kent have been awarded a share of £20 million to lead "vital" research to reduce carbon emissions from cross-channel ferries.

The seven-month long Dover Clean Ferry project will see experts from the Kent Business School teaming up with the Port of Dover and P&O Ferries.

The project will on the challenges of reducing energy demands and delivering net-zero energy to the port.

On shore power points are available at some cruise ship berths in Southampton

Southampton Port has been pioneering the use of shore power points for cruise ships docking in the city.

The connectors allow cruise ships to hook up the National Grid to power onboard services, meaning they can switch off their engines and reduce emissions.

Similar schemes have been announced for the cruise terminal in Portsmouth.

This project will focus on providing clean electricity at the Port of Dover, which could pave the way for hybrid or even fully electric ferries to take channel crossings.

Previous joint efforts between the Port of Dover and the University of Kent have already proved fruitful, with research finding ways of reducing traffic congestion, boosting efficiency and cutting costs for the Port.

Dr Ramin Raeesi, Interim Director of the Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation (CLHO) at Kent and Principal Investigator of the project said: "This vital project is a perfect demonstration of the expertise of Kent Business School and our priority agenda for supporting greater development for sustainability in the Southeast.

"We look forward to sharing our findings from this research and making progressive steps towards net-zero in the region."