Datasets regarding vessel demand for onshore power (OPS) will be a “crucial precondition” for greater adoption in the industry, argues Europe’s seaport institutional body. However, there are currently none available in the industry.
However, in a report released in March 2021, the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), which represents ports authorities and associations across the 22 EU Member States and Norway, highlighted the importance of European OPS investment where it makes sense.
In an interview with PTI, Isabelle Ryckbost, General Secretary, ESPO, said a crucial precondition for ports considering investment in OPS is greater information on the power demand – and capabilities – of vessels is needed.
“We should have stakeholder coalitions up and running, involving shipping companies, Port Authorities, and energy providers to ensure that there is a business and environmental case for OPS where it makes sense – a goal-based approach,” Ryckbost said.
Explaining what needs to happen further for greater adoption in ports, Ryckbost argued that ports can target which segments in shipping – cargo, passenger, ro-ro – have established fleets with OPS capabilities.
“It entails looking at which segments currently have OPS as a clue for where it is currently viable and possible to start using straight away or as soon as possible,” she said.
“[There is an] important distinction between theoretical onshore power readiness onboard a vessel, and actually having OPS installed on board.
“There is currently no monitoring or data set on OPS or energy demand. [This is a] crucial precondition for onshore being used more in daily operations.”
OPS – is legislation the way forward?
Many port authorities are pondering whether to make OPS capabilities for incoming vessels a legal requirement to improve industry adoption.
The Port of Los Angeles told PTI in February 2021 that “you only get the high numbers of ships plugging in [to shoreside power] when it’s required.”
In Europe, the Port of Valencia told PTI in March that the use of Alternative Maritime Power (AMP, another term for OPS) should be mandator to ensure critical mass of ship adoption.
However, ESPO has taken a different stance, favouring a goals-based approach.
“[We] would not agree. ESPO favours a goal-based approach under Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID),” Ryckbost said.
“Work backwards from ambitious emission reduction goals, and then apply OPS where applicable.”
OPS could be implemented as a rule, but “not without (many) possible exceptions,” Ryckbost continued.
“[We need to] flip the logic – ensure vessels that could use OPS have OPS [facilities] onboard.”