Decarbonization of waterfront activities offers electric utilities, port owners and operators, government agencies, and private companies many opportunities to work together to advance their organizational objectives while creating significant economic and environmental benefits for their customers and constituents. For electric utilities and system operators, electrification of port operations provides a major opportunity for new sales in a generally declining commercial and industrial market. Moreover, many of these new loads will occur off-peak, providing for higher system capacity utilization and absorption of intermittent output from wind resources. Port authorities and their tenants will see many benefits of electrification, including improved logistic operations, improved environmental conditions for workers, cruise passengers, and neighbors, and compliance with current and pending environmental regulations.
Shore power refers to using electricity from onshore facilities to power ships while they are at berth. Other terms for this approach include “cold ironing”, Alternative Marine Power (AMP) and High Voltage Shore Connection (HVSC). Shore power substitutes for running the ship’s main or auxiliary engines to generate electricity. Technical studies find that use of cold ironing can reduce GHG emissions from ocean going vessels at berth by 30% - 40%, depending on the size and type of ship. Reductions in particulate matter and criterion pollutants are even greater, ranging from 40% - 70%. According to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), ships representing 30% of current cruise fleet capacity are outfitted for shore power connections. CLIA expects 88% of new ship capacity to be so equipped. (CLIA 2019) Among cargo vessels, the share with shore power equipment is much lower.
In this series of white papers, DNV GL draws on the company’s experience serving the electric and maritime industries to:
- Characterize the major technical strategies for decarbonizing port operations, addressing market readiness, costs, economic returns, and environmental benefits
- Identify the key drivers and barriers to stakeholder efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions from port operations
- Describe current implementations of the strategies, focusing on opportunities for stakeholders to work together realize projects.