All aboard a clean marine strategy in the South Hams

We are working with partners and industry experts to explore how we can use electric power on our waters to help tackle climate change.

In our drive to reduce our local carbon footprint, we are working with the local marine sector to identify opportunities which protect the natural environment. 

One of the many projects taking place is a series of workshops which explore the future of electric power and clean technologies in the marine sector.

The first electric-transition workshop, funded through our Climate Change Engagement Fund, took place in the spring with the next being planned. It was attended by harbour authorities, marine managers, boat and yacht clubs and small ferry operatives.

The workshop was hosted by South Devon College Marine Academy and led by Conrad Humphreys, a professional yachtsman, adventurer, and founder of Blue Environment.

Conrad Humphreys, Founder of Blue Environment, said: "It was great to bring together some of the marine industry's innovators and creative minds to share their experiences of how and why we need to transition away from fossil fuels to clean technologies. It's clear that there is significant progress being made across technologies from pure electric to hydrogen and many great examples across the UK maritime sector.

"Huge thanks to South Hams District Council, South Devon College, delegates, speakers, and marine businesses for attending and supporting this important event."

The workshop also included keynote speakers Wayne Peters from North Devon Marine & Sail Electric, Jamie Marley from Marine Electrification Solutions and Phil Horton, Sustainability Manager at the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). Along with a variety of stimulating climate and electric power-related talks from Council staff, partners, and industry experts.

There was also an opportunity to explore the latest clean technologies through live on-water demonstrations.

Paul Singer, Business and Qualification Development Coordinator at South Devon College, said: "We were delighted to host the first of the e-transition workshops at our state-of-the-art South Devon College Marine Academy. With the support of South Hams District Council, Conrad Humphries and all the speakers, the workshop highlighted not just the importance of decarbonisation in our marine economy but also the significant benefits that a zero emissions maritime sector brings to all users of our seas and rivers.

"Our investment in new and emerging technologies at our marine academy ensures that we are ready to meet the future training and skills needs of the maritime sector."

Councillor John McKay, Lead Member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, said: "We are currently developing our priorities for the next four years and ensuring the South Hams becomes Net Zero by 2050 is one of them. Together with the local marine economy, we have a responsibility to ensure we tackle the climate crisis head on.

"By using the expertise of marine organisations such as Blue Environment, and joining forces with South Devon College, we can help support local businesses make the step towards a more sustainable future."

Two further workshops are currently being planned for 2023 and we will be encouraging local marine organisations to attend to find out more.

If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, please email with your expression of interest.