Getting a Fresh Perspective on Clean Energy

With the exception of 25th December, the Port of Tyne never closes. Our footprint is roughly the size of 620 football pitches. We operate a lot of heavy machinery and currently utilise 7.6 Giga Watt hours of electricity—that’s enough to power 1700 homes a year. We also use 2.4m litres of fuel to power our infrastructure and provide critical customer services—like warehousing and logistics management, plus bulk storage.

Energy is a big issue for Port of Tyne and clean energy is absolutely central to the Tyne 2050 strategy. Our vision is to be recognised as the safest, most environmentally focused port in the UK. 

We recently hosted the first in a series of virtual workshops to problem-solve, collaborate and accelerate our transition to becoming a fully carbon neutral port.  It was very exciting to welcome over 30 organisations on Zoom, share our energy roadmap, identify additional ways to explore clean energy technologies and learn how to apply other energy success stories. Responsible for managing over 3000 assets and leading our engineering and infrastructure development, Martin Graham, Head of Engineering at Port of Tyne kicked off the sessions.

Across our estate and legacy infrastructure, the Port has already made strong inroads towards this goal, with renewable offshore energy solutions. We have over 7 hectares of land, which has been allocated to the development of offshore wind farms, of which 550m has direct riverside frontage and is commercially very attractive.

Where next?

Underpinning our strategy for clean energy are the 16 key principles for a Circular Economy. Workshop discussions were very much centred around how to use this as a framework to expand what we already have planned in our roadmap. We are committed to providing clean energy for the Port and its local communities, putting in place a programme to ensure our national recognition as a test bed for clean energy trials by 2025. By 2030, we will be carbon neutral and an all-electric port by 2040.

Here’s how these concepts might be applied by the Port of Tyne, linking the relevant points within the Circular Economy framework:

Source / Produce with Renewables: 

Utilise heat pumps and geothermal energy within the many coalmines dotted across the North East;

Retrofit solar panels onto the roofs of our 50,000 m2 (and growing) commercial warehouse estate;

Explore the use of hydrogen fuel as an energy source, by using ammonia as a readily transportable, carbon-free substrate.

Source / Produce with Good Ethics:

Introduce a comprehensive carbon offsetting strategy during the next decade, the interim period as we work towards carbon neutrality in 2030.

Collaborate well and widely:

Donate any unused energy generated by the Port to benefit the local community;

Explore using a microgrid to help reduce energy costs and allow the Port and its customers to become more energy independent and environmentally efficient;

Collaborate with other international ports to share clean energy best practice;

Facilitate knowledge exchanges between the UK’s Defence Industry and RAF.

These were just some of the many ideas shared at our workshop, and we look forward to sharing our journey towards the Port’s transition to becoming carbon neutral and then all-electric, at future Innovation Hub events.

Click below to link to other Innovation Hub blogs.

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