The UK Government has announced plans to accelerate maritime decarbonisation by switching to emissions-cutting shore power in ports.
Maritime Minister Robert Courts has launched a call for evidence to gather information on the benefits of shore power for the shipping industry following the government’s commitment to decarbonising the sector through its Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
Berthed vessels must currently run their onboard diesel engines to power lighting, galleys, air conditioning and other amenities – equivalent to a car or van idling when parked – emitting polluting fumes around ports.
With shore power, vessels will be able to turn off their engines and plug into sources of shore power when berthed, reducing carbon emissions as well as noise and air pollution.
Shore power is believed to be vital to decarbonising the maritime sector and improving air quality for local communities.
Maritime Minister Robert Courts said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges this generation faces and we will continue to lead international efforts to decarbonise the maritime sector.
“Shore power will end the outdated practice of ships keeping their engines running while anchored in port, reducing the poisonous fumes entering the air and ensuring we meet our net zero 2050 goals.”
The call for evidence, open until 25th April 2022, is seeking information on the costs of shore power, benefits, including the potential of emissions reductions, scale of vessel emissions at berth and options to enable the rollout of the technology.
Mark Simmonds, Director of Policy and External Affairs for the British Ports Association added: “The ports industry has a key role to play in supporting the decarbonisation of shipping and shore power will be an important part of that.
“This call for evidence is a step forward and will help us all better understand the current barriers to delivering more shore power to ships.
“We look forward to sharing the sector’s experiences so far and exploring how industry and government can work together to lower emissions in ports.”