According to this, the German Shipowners’ Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR) applauds the plan of onshore power facilities in favour of vessels, while berthing in German ports, with Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of the Association commenting that
Promoting the use of onshore power is a solid step in the right direction.
In light of the upcoming 2020 sulphur cap, the use of heavy fuel oil has been banned in EU ports, making Germany look for alternative fuels.
Keeping up with the changes of the industry, the German Shipowner's Association focuses on three important steps for the efficient implementation of the onshore power plants in German ports:
- There is a need for sound infrastructure and clear regulations: onshore power is suitable for ships operating regular shuttle or scheduled services (such as ferries) which routinely use the same berths. Container ships and bulk carriers, on the other hand, frequently moor at different berths in the same port or need to be moved during loading and unloading. Providing them all with flexible onshore-side power facilities is likely to exceed the capabilities of the ports, as well as of many of the ships. For the time being, there are many technical and legal questions that haven't been solved for the interested parties, as the issue of different voltages used by the on-board and land-based networks, and the long-term financial viability of the facilities in the event of a low uptake by the ships.
- There is a need for a truly sustainable concept: connecting to onshore power only makes sense in relation to a reduction of CO2 emissions from ships if the power comes from renewable energy sources. Onshore power plants are currently competing against alternative fuels with similar or even better pollutant and CO2 emission balances – and this competition will become fiercer in the future. What matters in the end is the overall ecological footprint.
- Hooking up to onshore power must become more economically attractive: for the time being, only just 20 ports worldwide offer onshore power facilities. To use onshore power, the majority of the shipping companies must first retrofit their ships, something that needs millions in investment. So far, onshore power in German ports has cost shipping companies two to three times as much as the use of on-board auxiliary diesel engines. The planned reduction of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) levy on onshore power in Germany by 80% is therefore a sound and important measure.
There is a need to provide financial incentives to shipping companies, as many of them, especially in this country, are engaged in fierce competition on a global scale ... The German maritime shipping industry will be pleased to support the implementation of the projects in an ecologically and economically sound manner.
... concluded Nagel.