Bristol Hydrogen Boats has won’s inaugural Environmental Innovation of the Year Award.

The Award recognises Bristol Hydrogen Boats for their pioneering work to deliver tangible environmental benefits and solutions through the development of the UK’s first hydrogen ferry. The ferry will run in Bristol’s harbour from September this year.

Bristol Hydrogen Boats is a consortium formed between No 7 Boat Trips, the Bristol Packet, and Auriga Energy Ltd, and supported by Bristol City Council. Their Award was announced in front of 170 industry experts from across the globe who had gathered to celebrate those companies who have made a significant difference in helping the reduce the carbon footprint of shipping.

Clean and green, the ferry will carry up to 12 passengers per journey in order to demonstrate the commercial advantages of this technology to business, residents, commuters and tourists. As an alternative to petrol and diesel engines, hydrogen powered transport impacts significantly less on the environment as they produce zero direct emissions: the only waste product is water. This would mean a big reduction in air and water pollution, in addition to reduced noise, in the harbour if the technology was widely adopted in the future.

Councillor Neil Harrison, Bristol City Council’s Assistant Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said: “Bristol Hydrogen Boat’s fellow finalists for the Award included internationally focused companies such as Maersk, one of the biggest shipping companies around, global company Valspar, and Eco Marine Power. To win against them is a real triumph for them and Bristol!

“The Council is now starting to look at ways of producing hydrogen locally from renewable energy, which would mean a cut in carbon emissions too. Hydrogen cars will be commercially available in the UK from 2014 and we are aiming to ensure that they will be able to refuel here, alongside the ferry. The hydrogen economy will be a major employer by 2020 and I want to make sure that Bristol is at the chalk face.”

Source: Bristol City Council