One of the main strategic guidelines established by the European Commission about energy efficiency is related to assuring an effective transition towards the use of energy sources with lower environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Such evolution should be sustainable in the mid to long term from different points of view, including the economic-financial, environmental and social perspectives.
In recent years the integration of renewable energy and alternative fuels within the industrial and transport sector has been greatly encouraged. However, despite important efforts, the total share of such greener alternatives remains modest considering the production and consumption energy mix on a European level. In January 2013 the European Commission launched a communication titled: ‘Clean Power for Transport: a European Alternative Fuels Strategy’ which reflects upon the important dependency of oil and its sub-products within the European transport sector. Moreover, high economic costs as well as environmental impact are addressed as significant barriers for the fulfilment of the 20/20/20 objectives established by the Commission.
The maritime transport and portlogistic sectors are strongly affected by this situation, due to their strategic importance as key drivers of international trade and transport of goods. However, it is worth mentioning that energy efficiency has not been considered as an important improvement field in this sector until recent years. Fortunately, this situation is changing quickly thanks to the major awareness of the industrial sector and the innovation developed by research teams and port machinery manufacturers.
The GREENCRANES TEN-T project
Within this context, the project ‘Gre e n Te c h n o l o g i e s a n d Ec o – Efficient Alternatives for Cranes and Operations at Port Container Terminals’ (GREENCRANES) aims to be an innovative action which contributes to the improvement of energy efficiency of port container terminals. GREENCRANES was awarded European funds through the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The project started in August 2012 and will end in May 2014. The participants in the GREENCRANES project are the Valenciaport Foundation (acting as coordinator); the Port Authority of Valencia; Noatum; Konecranes; Port of Koper and the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. The implementing bodies are Autorità Portuale Livorno; RINA SpA; Global Service Srl; Scuola Superiore Sant ’Anna – Perceptual Robotics Laboratory.
The main mission of the project is to provide tools to port container terminal decision-makers…