Net Zero Transport

Connected Places Catapult’s Role in achieving Net Zero Transport

Achieving our ambitious net zero targets will be the defining challenge of the next three decades. Transport is responsible for 27% of the UK’s total emissions, the most of any sector, potentially making net zero transport the biggest challenge of them all.

How we can enable decarbonisation

Connected Places Catapult is helping place leaders understand how innovations can shape the smart streets of the future. Active travel will have a part to play in this, but so will improve people’s access to services through real-time information and simpler integrated ticketing, as well as dynamic curbside management to optimise the use of space at the roadside. Connected Places Catapult will help place leaders understand how these innovations align with their net zero ambitions, as well as making greener, better places to live.

For cars and other light vehicles, we are beginning to see the transition to Electric Vehicles (EV) with the government committing to phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. Battery technology has emerged as the clear route to decarbonisation for these vehicles and we will continue to provide guidance to government and place leaders to enable this transition.

Our role in stimulating innovation

Other zero-emission transport solutions are less defined and Connected Places Catapult has an important role to play in helping to overcome these barriers by increasing the supply of innovations that will allow these targets to be met.

In the maritime sector, for example, our role will continue to be focused on generating interest from technology suppliers and increasing the number of zero-emission solutions, engaging with the industry to understand the challenges they face and are drawing inspiration from parallel markets to identify where technology or policy might be able to support a move towards lower carbon operating approaches. 

Our goal is to stimulate innovation by focussing the industry on the current gaps that need to be overcome to unlock net zero transport operations.

Increasing the demand for innovations

It’s not just in increasing the supply of innovations where we can help. To accelerate the adoption of future innovations, we also preparing for the adaptation implications of handling new forms of transport through projects such as the Zero Emissions Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) programme [LINK]. The motivation here is to accelerate the demand for zero-emission flight technology by making it as easy as possible for the aviation industry to make the change. Defining infrastructure requirements, creating associated regulations, and establishing a UK supply chain will help to define a clear route to decarbonisation, giving confidence to the aviation industry to invest in zero-emission technologies.

Supporting the transition to net zero is one of the strategic priorities of the Catapult and we will continue to work towards this goal. Whether that be by providing guidance to place leaders, stimulating zero emission innovations where gaps currently exist, or increasing the demand for zero emission technologies, the Catapult has an important role to play in helping the UK achieve net zero transport by 2050.

Learn more about the work we are doing in net zero transport.

Net Zero Transport Operations Projects

Our featured projects represent recent works as we continue to encourage and convene the market through innovators and place leaders to name a few. Each project presents the opportunity to discover what is next and how Connected Places Catapult can explore market demand and opportunities in the UK and globally as they evolve in the short, medium and long term.

Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure - Preparing UK airports for zero emission aircraft
Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure – Preparing UK airports for zero emission aircraft

Connected Places Catapult is excited to be delivering the Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) programme in collaboration with the Department for Transport. We are bringing together government, industry, and academia to better understand the infrastructure changes required at airports and airfields to prepare for hydrogen-powered and battery electric aircraft.

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Decarbonising the Rail Freight Estate
Decarbonising the Rail Freight Estate

In order to address the challenge of climate change, the UK Government became the first major economy to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming and bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

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Connected Places Catapult will help place leaders understand how these innovations align with their net zero ambitions, as well as making greener, better places to live.

Net Zero Transport Reports
Freeport Playbook – an opportunity to create sustainable industries
Freeport Playbook – an opportunity to create sustainable industries

Freeports have the potential to be powerful engines of regional growth, through stimulating innovation and collaboration. The Government specification for Freeports includes requirements to support the transition to net zero.

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Delivering the Transition to Smart UK Ports Webinar Overview
Delivering the Transition to Smart UK Ports Webinar Overview

With Net Zero requirements being a key part of the Government’s Freeport plan, delegates heard how the Catapult and Royal HaskoningDHV have supported the Port of London in defining a self-learning model to accurately predict changes in water levels along the Thames.

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Net Zero Transport Operations Events

Join us to learn from industry experts, academics as well as global, state and local government leaders. Access featured and on-demand content from past events.  

Transport Innovation Expo
Transport Innovation Expo

The Transport Innovation Expo brought together transport leaders, innovators and SMEs to showcase the power of collaboration through facilitated conversations around current sector challenges, demonstrations of novel solutions and discussions about new strategies for growth.

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The Transition to Smart UK Ports
The Transition to Smart UK Ports

The use cases provided practical and feasible innovative solutions to challenges faced by ports in the UK and around the world, building on the decarbonisation and digitalisation themes we explored in our recent Transitioning to Smart Ports project.

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Net Zero Transport Operations News & Analysis

We have collated some of the latest news & analysis around Net Zero Transport.

Decarbonising the Rail Freight Estate
Decarbonising the Rail Freight Estate

We are all increasingly aware of the realities of global warming and climate change, and are looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions. Transitioning the movement of goods from road haulage to rail freight can contribute to lowering overall transport emissions, but is there more that can be done?

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Decarbonisation of Transport Myth Busting
Decarbonisation of Transport Myth Busting

Interest in hydrogen continues to grow particularly in response to the Government’s net zero targets and has resulted in the release of the UK’s first ever Hydrogen Plan. Hydrogen can be fundamental to decarbonise the transport sector, such as maritime, aviation, rail, and long-haul road freight

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TRIG: Zero Emissions Flight Winners
TRIG: Zero Emissions Flight Winners

We are proud to announce the 15 winning projects announced that will be recipients of the Department for Transport’s latest Transport Research and Innovation Grant programme – TRIG: Zero Emission Flight programme which is being delivered by Connected Places Catapult.

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How Bergen’s derelict shipyards became a centre of innovation
How Bergen’s derelict shipyards became a centre of innovation

Norway’s once robust shipbuilding industry was in rapid decline. In Bergen, the shipyards fell empty. While such urban areas often become easy targets for residential development, the University of Bergen and other partners, the run-down shipyards could become a thriving innovation hub.

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Why the UK’s New Approach to Freeports will be Different
Why the UK’s New Approach to Freeports will be Different

One crucial distinction with the UK’s new approach to freeports is the strong emphasis placed on innovation and driving regional economic growth. It isn’t solely about attracting an increased flow of goods but how ports can leverage regional strengths to attract new companies and foreign investment.

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Smart Ports: Shore Power to Support Vessel Operations
Smart Ports: Shore Power to Support Vessel Operations

The Port of Tyne is operating in the growing offshore renewable energy sector, with plans underway to create a green energy park for the north east region and will form the world’s largest offshore wind farm, developing UK ports as green energy hubs and moving towards a Net Zero Carbon future.

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Net Zero Transport Operation Podcast

Here you can find a collection of our podcast episodes which explore net zero transport and discuss a variety of subjects.

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