UK stands out with highest levels of support for marine electrification and stronger safety regulations
GLASGOW; 1 November 2021: New polling commissioned by climate action solution provider Shift Clean Energy, demonstrates a remarkably high level of support for marine electrification as a way to fight climate change. Released during COP26 and the three-day Zero Emissions Ship Technology Association (ZESTAs) SHIP ZERO° workshop, the polling also revealed this is coupled with a strong desire for stronger safety regulations that would prevent all battery fires.
“Electrification in the marine and shipping industries has to happen if we want to meet International Maritime Organization, European Union and other GHG reduction goals,” said Brent Perry, CEO, Shift Clean Energy, and ZESTAs Chair. “People want to see it happen, but do want to ensure regulators put strong rules in place to ensure mariner and public safety.”
Energy storage systems (ESS) are an increasingly popular way to decrease greenhouse gases (GHGs), both in the marine sector and beyond as companies move to lower or zero emissions operations through electrification versus using diesel or other fuels. Current applications include fully electric or hybrid ferries, offshore wind farm servicing vessels, yachts and harbour servicing vessels, and increasingly, on land electrification of ports, terminals and inland waterway shipping. Shipping and marine industries are responsible for producing three per cent of global GHGs, equal to those produced by the entire country of Germany annually.
Marine batteries, made from lithium, allow for fast charging and discharging. This is needed when marine vessels need quick speed pickup or have fast turn arounds and limited time for charging, like ferries. However, current standards for battery approval state that individual battery cells can catch fire and still be approved, as long as that fire can’t spread from one cell to another. Given the impact any fires could have on ferries or other vessels, there are risks to this regulatory framework.
“As a sailor and ship builder myself, safety is my number one priority and I’m proud to say we’ve never had a battery fire and our safety systems are designed so we never will,” said Perry. “No battery should catch fire ever: isn’t this just how it should work? Shift’s batteries meet standards we won’t even see for other 30 years and we post the full, unedited battery test videos.”
Other polling findings included:
- There is considerable support for batteries as a tool to fight climate change, averaging 68 per cent, with the highest in UK at 74 per cent;
- UK, Belgium and France were the most supportive of governments encouraging batteries to fight climate change;
- Support for battery storage is also very high in the UK (74 per cent); even the country with the lowest support was still very high (the Netherlands at 65 per cent);
- Under half of those polled said existing regulations were strong enough, and there was universal support for change;
- Transparency is a priority: an average of 82 per cent of residents polled agreed that reporting on any incident involving marine batteries, including fires, was necessary, with the UK the highest at 90 per cent.
“With COP26 happening in the UK this week, we were encouraged to see that the UK stood out as highly supportive of battery storage as a tool against climate change; three quarters of those polled wanted to see more marine batteries used, but with improved regulations (87 per cent) and transparency of reporting of issues (90 per cent),” said Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
Current safety technology exists to prevent ESS fires now and is used by Shift, including:
- Water cooling systems: immediately dissipate heat in the event of damage to the lithium core, resulting in a small amount of vapour vented outside;
- More robust batteries in metal containers: surround batteries in metal versus in plastic, which is flammable;
- More control over production: Shift co-owns the battery manufacturing facility in Germany;
- Better software: cloud-based management system that remains on whether the battery is being used or not, to alert operators to any concerns.
Last week, Shift also launched its new PwrSwäp service in London, the centre of the international maritime sector. PwrSwäp is a pay-as-you go subscription service which allows customers to start saving money on day one while electrifying and moving to zero emissions. This service is an excellent solution for on land activities such as ports, terminals, industrial sites and small communities.
Research Co. undertook polling of between 501 and 507 citizens in their official languages in eight countries from October 7 to October 13, 2021, totaling 4,024 adult residents of eight European countries. Countries polled were: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The data has been statistically weighted according to national census figures for age, gender and region in each country. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 for each country.
About Research Co.
Research Co. is the highest rated Canada-based pollster on FiveThirtyEight and is one of the top five national pollsters on 338Canada. Since 2018, we have issued correct forecasts for 43 electoral processes. Simply put, we are curious about what people think and the decisions they will make. Some call it public opinion, others call it polling or public affairs. We never compromise facts for profit. Our agenda is the truth. We have a global network of partners in the qualitative, data collection and data visualization specialities.