‘Low cost renewable energy needed for UK Freeport’

Sufficient low-cost renewable energy supplies and associated networks must be available for Freeport East to become a green transport hub, according to the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA).

New REA analysis of the port's Green Transport Strategy also found that there needs to be green fuel production, supply and storage chain

The Freeport East region, based around the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich, is a major UK transport hub.

Its Green Transport Hub Strategy will allow the Freeport to position itself as a UK and international leader in transport decarbonisation.

The REA analysis found Freeport East is already well placed to pursue this strategy through the UK Government's energy transition plans.

These are for energy supplies, targets investment and growth in nearby offshore wind, low carbon hydrogen and nuclear power.

In addition, for transport the plans target an acceleration to zero emission surface vehicles and green fuels for shipping and aircraft.

The analysis also found that the evolution to a Green Transport Hub must be coordinated with other energy transition measures for power, heat, and transport across the region.

The report identifies four strategic themes key to achieve the 'Green Transport Hub' vision for Freeport East.

These are enhance electricity resources; enable hydrogen production; enable financing solutions; and integrated resource planning and delivery.

Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of REA, said: "At a time when decarbonisation must move faster and across more sectors of our economy than ever before, it is fantastic to see an industry-leading coalition like Freeport East committing to the objective of becoming a Green Transport Hub.

"The REA looks forward to working with stakeholders across industry and government to ensure the recommendations in the report are followed in full, and Freeport East's Green Transport Hub vision is realised."

Steve Beel, chief executive, Freeport East, said: "Decarbonising transport brings significant opportunities for inward investment; offering new jobs and skills as well as reducing the volatility and cost of our transport fuels.

"Freeport East, with significant transport flows across rail, road and sea, is a natural hub for the economies of scale required to support decarbonisation.

"However, achieving this element of the energy transition will require significant investment in our grid network and renewable power supplies.

"This independent report provides a valuable basis for ensuring we deliver the power infrastructure across Freeport East that will drive the transition to large-scale electrification and cleaner fuels across our transport system."