The British Ports Association (BPA) has urged the UK government to create a zero-emission berth standard and support shore power connections as a viable tool for meeting its Net Zero Carbon emission targets.
The association believes that a goal-based regulatory approach is needed to drive up demand for emissions reductions at berth.
Its proposed zero-emission berth standard would help create more certainty around investments in emissions reductions technologies and solutions, as well as help with some of the technical barriers.
In order to achieve this, the BPA states that it would need buy-in and support from the wider maritime industry and real collaboration between Government and industry.
The zero-emission berth standard is more flexible than a mandatory regulation of shore power and gives the government a ‘green’ shoreside policy lever.
However, such a scheme would need to be carefully designed to ensure that it would not affect the competitiveness of particular sectors or trades while also ensuring that it drives behavioural and private investment.
In its latest report, BPA found that, as of April 2020, there are no large-scale commercial shore power connections available in the UK.
BPA sees that shore power will likely be a part of a mix of future solutions to reducing emissions from ships in ports.
Although it concedes that it is clear that it is not feasible to install shore power at every berth in the UK or accommodate every vessel.
BPA noted that the three primary barriers to investment in UK shore power are the high capital costs, expensive electricity and a lack of consistent demand.
Schneider Electric, which provides shore power systems in the UK and around the world, has encouraged the government to implement the report recommendations without delay.
By plugging into the power grid with 100% renewable electricity and turning off their auxiliary diesel engines, ships at berth in the UK could reduce emissions equivalent to taking between 84,000 and 166,000 diesel buses or 1.2m diesel cars off the roads.
The company noted that proven technologies already exist, and Schneider is already involved in the UK’s first large ship-to-shore commercial connection in Stromness, Orkney.
This connection aims to supply locally produced ‘green’ electrical power to the MV Hamnavoe Northlink ferry while at berth.