The UK Government has launched a call for evidence to accelerate maritime decarbonisation by switching to shore power at UK ports.
Maritime Minister Robert Courts launched the call during his keynote speech at the annual UK Chamber of Shipping (UKCoS) Dinner on 7 February.
Through the use of shore power, vessels will be able to turn off their engines and plug into provided power sources when berthed. These will help reduce carbon emissions, noise and air pollution.
“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges this generation faces, and we will continue to lead international efforts to decarbonise the maritime sector,” said Courts.
“Shore power will end the outdated practice of ships keeping their engines running while anchored in port, reducing the poisoning fumes entering the air and ensuring we meet our next zero 2050 goals.”
READ: What is onshore power?
The UK is just one country leading the charge on key decarbonisation technologies such as zero-emission vehicles.
Recently, it became one of the few nations in the world to have a dedicated Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which pledged £23 million ($31 million) in 2021 to fund over 55 decarbonisation projects.
On top of this, during the COP26, it made a commitment to launch the Clydebank Declaration, a coalition of 22 countries keen to develop green shipping corridors.
Mark Simmonds, Director of Policy and External Affairs for the British Ports Association (BPA), 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 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.”
Tim Morris, CEO at the UK Major Ports Group, also commented: “Shore power has the potential to play a positive part in the future of zero-emission maritime, although it is an area that currently faces some significant challenges.
“The call for evidence is, therefore, an important step in finding the right, viable ways that industry, government and networks can work together to support the wider deployment of shore power where it is an appropriate solution.”
The BPA also recently responded to the UK Government’s “levelling up” plans, calling on it to take a focus on the port industry’s potential in stimulating trade.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, recently released the government’s plans for the program in the White Paper document. However, in response, the BPA has said the ports sector needs to be recognised as a key component of regional and national growth.