A new report published by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) today highlights the maritime sector’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels and the opportunity to transition boats to clean energy – to protect our oceans and environment.

“Fuel use in the maritime sector, including coastal shipping, commercial fishing boats, ferries and recreational vessels, is responsible for 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions each year, the equivalent of around 600,000 cars. That’s nearly 10% of our total transport emissions,” EECA CEO Andrew Caseley said.

“In the last couple of years, there have been encouraging moves towards electrification of water-borne transport, with a growing electric boat-building industry that’s had interest here and overseas.

“But we know there is significantly more energy and emissions savings potential – the industry is still young.”

In order to support decarbonisation of the marine sector, EECA has announced the eighth round of the Government’s Low Emission Transport Fund (LETF) with a first-time focus on commercial maritime projects.

EECA, which administers the LETF, commissioned research that identifies low-emission technologies, from fuel efficiency measures to electrification, that could be deployed across different marine sectors and vessel sizes.

Andrew Caseley said, “The LETF has already proven itself a catalyst for low-emissions innovation in road transport, helping to reduce emissions in light and heavy vehicles.

“Just in the last year, we’ve seen the first electric milk tanker take to the roads, the adoption of battery-swap technology and even a solar-panelled bus. I have high hopes we’ll be able to deliver for the marine sector, too.”

In this funding round, the Fund will focus on projects in the marine sector that: 

  • demonstrate innovative solutions that will enable future adoption and deployment;  
  • reduce energy related emissions in the sector; 
  • address market and organisational barriers through co-investment and diffusion of new knowledge and learnings; and  
  • share learnings and knowledge to stimulate wider replication of successful projects and solutions in the sector.  

The round opens on February 8, and closes on March 8, with up to $2.5 million in co-funding available.

To find out more and apply, visit the link below.

Low Emission Transport Fund | EECA

Additional Information

Another funding round is closing:

Round 6, offering up to $2 million in co-funding for destination EV charging projects, closes February 8.

This round was opened in late 2022, and the successful projects will be announced in the coming months.

About the research

EECA commissioned Beca to undertake a scan of the maritime sector to identify emissions reduction potential. The study found that beyond electrification, a number of key technologies can offer significant improvements to fuel efficiency, therefore lowering emissions. These include:

  • Propeller optimisation
  • hull coating
  • hydrofoils
  • biofuels
  • hybrid drives

In addition, the report found that most technologies cost less than $1 million, and show a reduction in operating costs.

About the LETF

The Low Emission Transport Fund, administered by EECA, supports the demonstration and adoption of low emission transport technology, innovation and infrastructure to accelerate the decarbonisation of the New Zealand transport sector.

The fund will focus on activities in the transport sector that move people and/or goods on roads, off-road, and in the marine and aviation sectors to:

  • Demonstrate innovative solutions that will enable future adoption and deployment
  • Reduce energy related emissions in the transport sector
  • Address market and organisational barriers through co-investment and diffusion of new knowledge and lessons, and
  • Share knowledge and lessons to stimulate wider replication of successful projects and solutions in the transport sector.

Wider transport systems and activities (such as building roads, urban design, mode shift policy) are excluded.

Each round of the LETF will provide co-funding to a particular area of interest (unlike the previous LEVCF, in which each round welcomed the full range of applications). An announcement will be made in advance of each funding round advising which areas of interest will be included.