While most operational efficiencies to tackle emissions apply to the ships themselves – beyond the reach of ports – shore-based power supply can score highly on the emission busting scale, if ports can embrace their new role as green energy generator and supplier.
Jürgen Zabel, general manager for shore connection systems at Wärtsilä, sees ship shore power as a “proven technology”, which is available today and can provide an immediate decarbonisation impact. “It can reduce local air pollution from ships at berth to zero while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by connecting ships to electricity grids when docked at port, which in turn reduces fuel consumption.”
For a prime example of high-performing shore power in action look no further than California’s ports, which have implemented stringent regulation on reducing at-berth emissions. “This has been a key driver behind the greater implementation of shore power systems at the port, as operators must comply with the berth regulation at all California ports,” Zabel said. To date, Wärtsilä has carried out more than 150 installations of its container shore power solution for cold ironing to connect cargo ships to local power sources at California’s ports.
China is also throwing its weight behind shore power solutions as a driver to reduce emissions in its ports and cities. From 2019, China mandated that new domestic vessels should be equipped for shore power. Zabel expects Europe to tighten its port regulations concerning emissions soon, accelerating the universal adoption of shore connection systems.
Peter Selway, port solutions lead at Schneider Electric, told Seatrade Maritime Global Ports Report that shore power has taken off significantly over the last 12 months: “It has been transformational,” he said.
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