shore power

Study: EU must triple or quadruple installed shore power by 2030

The European Union needs to triple or quadruple its installed shore power by 2030 to meet the current ambitions of the FuelEU Maritime regulation and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), a new study estimates.

Image Courtesy: Port of Kiel

Specifically, the study identified 51 ports across 15 EU coastal Member States equipped with 309 MW of shore power, primarily in passenger and cruise terminals but the current capacity falls short of energy demand, requiring additional power installations.

“When the FuelEU Maritime regulation and AFIR take effect, the EU will have to triple or quadruple its installed shore power, depending on if Member States supply enough shore power to satisfy the average or maximum power demand, with Italy, Spain, and France requiring the most investment in shore power,” the authors of the working paper revealed.

The study, ‘Shore power needs and CO2 emissions reductions of ships in European Union ports: Meeting the ambitions of the FuelEU Maritime and AFIR’, was recently published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

It explores the role of shore supply in decarbonizing maritime transportation in the EU based on two recently adopted regulations — the FuelEU Maritime and AFIR. Specifically, The FuelEU Maritime regulation requires that from January 1, 2030, container and passenger ships — including cruise ships — greater than or equal to 5,000 gross tonnage (GT) must connect to shore power in main EU ports in the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). The AFIR aims to regulate shore power supply and incentivize infrastructure development in TEN-T ports.

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To provide insights for policymakers and EU Member States, the study found that about 15,700 ships spent more than 2 hours at-berth in the 489 major EU ports in 2019, demanding nearly 5.9 terawatt-hours of energy; nearly 70% of this energy demand came from the TEN-T network ports.

As informed, the most energy-consuming ship types were tankers, passenger, and cruise ships (67% of the total at-berth energy demand), which were also key contributors to at-berth CO2 emissions.

This analysis demonstrates the current limitations of existing regulations in terms of CO2 emissions, which can also be used as an indicator for assessing the potential to reduce at-port air pollution. The current level of ambitions of the FuelEU Maritime and AFIR will only lead to a 24% reduction in estimated annual 4.37 Mt at-berth CO2 emissions, according to the study.

By addressing the identified gaps and enhancing shore power infrastructure, the EU can make greater progress towards a cleaner, more sustainable maritime transportation sector, the ICCT believes.

Besides reducing GHG emissions, the installation of shore power could bring additional benefits, including reducing air pollution at ports and decreasing premature mortality rates caused by shipping emissions. Therefore, the study recommends considering improvements in the regulatory requirements and expanding coverage to include a broader range of ship types, sizes, and ports.

The ICCT has made the following recommendations to be considered by policymakers:

  • To achieve a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions, the forthcoming revision of both the FuelEU Maritime regulation and AFIR should require all ships greater than or equal to 400 GT to connect to shore power in EU ports.
  • Boilers should be also retrofitted, electrified, or connected to shore power facilities, just like auxiliary engines, since they are responsible for 44% of all at-berth CO2 emissions.
  • Technical and logistical challenges should be addressed in the regulations, such as an unclear delegation of responsibilities between the ship operators and port authorities, voltage and frequency incompatibility, berth space availability, charging time spans, and power quality.
  • Clear goals should be established for the share of renewables in the electricity grid used for shore power supply.

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