The German government is launching a set of measures in order to promote shore-generated power, in an effort to make the country’s ports cleaner, following the country’s plans in a carbon-neutral Germany by 2050. Vessels in Germany’s ports in the future will be using renewable shore-based energy instead of burning fossil fuels to generate shipboard electric power.
Notably, on Thursday, October 10, government representatives of several regions in Germany met in Kiel and signed a memorandum of understanding, listing the conditions for the use of shore-generated power to provide cleaner air in port cities.
The Minister-President for Land Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther stated that “shore-based power supply as an alternative to operating shipboard diesels represents a tangible contribution towards cleaner air and protecting the climate. That applies to the port in Kiel and all other port cities on the North Sea and Baltic.”
The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmeier commented that
With these measures, we are making a significant contribution towards cleaner air and a reduction of CO2 and noise in port cities along the North Sea and Baltic coasts. We are also giving ports and shipowners planning certainty for expanding facilities and refitting ships.
Daniel Günther further added that “the memorandum is an initial, important step towards improving the commercial viability of shore-based power. The paper includes the reduction of the EU levy to 20 percent favoured by Schleswig-Holstein. By mid-2020 we should have initiated the essential legal steps. I am expecting rapid implementation of what we have agreed.”
The use of shore-based power stemming from renewable energy sources can substantially reduce emissions from ships during lay times in German seaports. Nevertheless, due to the fact that costs are too high compared to those for power supply from the conventional sources, there is currently barely any demand for it from shipowners.
This set of measures provides for rulings that make a start on reducing levies, as well as special network charges for cruise liners, ferries and container ships, among other things. In fact, seagoing ships have to come to terms with considerably higher costs, as they consume more electricity during longer lay times at ports, compared to inland shipping, and can currently secure supply only on the basis of extremely unfavorable consumer profiles.
From 2020, a program of subsidies should be in place in order to assist states and ports in expanding essential port infrastructure, totaling EUR 140 million (about USD 155 million). In particular, Hamburg, Kiel and Rostock seaports are already planning far-reaching expansion.
In particular, in May this year, the German Port of Kiel officially inaugurated its first shore-based power supply plant for ships at the Norwegenkai terminal. With immediate effect, the Color Line’s big cruise-ferries could be supplied with emission-free electric power from on shore.
Moreover, earlier this month the State Government of Hamburg has given the green light to the port of Hamburg, through a €76m expansion of shore power supply, aiming to help the port improve its emissions and air quality, by offering shore power to cruise liners and mega-containerships from 2022, with regular operation from 2023. Such an expansion can enables the port to lead the path towards alternative power supply during ships’ lay times.
Lastly, the recently announced measures are expected to enable such units to be operated on a commercial basis. German cruise companies TUI Cruises and AIDA Cruises welcomed the latest governmental incentive scheme for shore-generated power, as the program is line with strategies of both cruise lines aiming to reduce emissions in cruising.