UK shipping industry urged to go green

A new report says the UK shipping industry should target using 100% renewable electricity whilst ships are at berth in ports, which could reduce emissions equivalent to 1.2 million diesel cars.

Schneider Electric commisioned the study which explored emissions from idling ships at berth in UK ports and how this affects air quality. The report says pollution from ships is an ‘often neglected’ source of air pollution.

While road transport pollution is a current hot topic, the report says ‘we should not underestimate the impact that portside emissions have on the environment and the cost of keeping society healthy.’

It says ‘ships spewing toxic emissions near to coastal towns and cities puts people and the environment at risk.’

The report says if emissions from a ship’s engine at berth was reduced to zero by replacement with power from 100% renewable electricity sources, the UK could also save £402m per year through the elimination of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and particulates.

A partnership between the Port of Seattle and the shipping industry has seen annual CO2 emissions being cut by up to 29% annually in the port, with financial savings of up to 26% per port call.

Meanwhile, shore connection capabilities have been mandatory for all ships at berth in California since 2010 and by 2020, at least 80% of berths have to be equipped with shore connection technology.

Peter Selway, Marine Segment Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric said: ‘The UK is one of the last global regions to introduce shore connections at its ports and it will take industry collaboration and innovation to bring forward the introduction of portside electricity in a quick and sustainable manner.

There is now a global standard for shore connections and it is up to our ports now to catch up with the global norm and demonstrate that we truly believe in a cleaner, healthier future

‘It is time now to adopt a new way of thinking and embrace, as an industry, the benefits that shore connections and portside electricity can bring quickly and cost-effectively.

‘We are fortunate enough to have the technology at hand and we must put it to good use.’

Read the report here

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Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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