The implementation of shore power is complicated. For instance, there is uncertainty about future policy, European or otherwise, regarding whether or not shore-based power should be made compulsory. International regulations will be needed so that ports spearheading sustainability do not lose their competitive position. Investments in shore-based power cannot be avoided now: major infrastructure investments are required and these cannot be made without government support. Moreover, there are still too few ready-made solutions for the integration of shore-based power on busy quays. At present, only a limited number of container ships are fitted with shore-based power connections. Consequently, no European terminals have shore-based power facilities for large container ships. Finally, the current tax rules are unfavourable for shore-based power: for the time being, electricity is not subject to energy tax and marine fuel is tax-exempt in most ports.
Shore-based power for container ships by 2028
The ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Bremen and Haropa (Le Havre, Rouen and Paris) have therefore agreed to make a joint commitment to providing shore-based power facilities for container ships from 14,000 TEU upwards by 2028. In this segment, it is becoming increasingly common for new vessels to be fitted with a shore-based power connection. To demonstrate their commitment and make a clear statement, these ports have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). By so doing, the ports are showing that they will do everything they can to create the necessary conditions and a level playing field to facilitate the implementation of shore-based power for their clients.
In addition, the ports are jointly calling for a clear European regulatory framework for the use of shore-based power or an equivalent alternative. The ports are also asking for an exemption of energy tax for shore-based power and sufficient public funds to realise these shore-based power projects.