Freight News, Sea

MPs back state funding for shore power

[ November 11, 2021   //   ]

A majority of MPs say that shore power for ships at berth in UK ports should be funded entirely by government or a combination of government and industry, according to a survey by the British Ports Association.

The phone survey of over 100 UK members of parliament revealed “a tentative consensus” for a joint model of funding for shore power in ports, it said, with 55% of those with a view saying that the government has a role in supporting shore power, either funding it entirely or through co-investment with industry.

Over a fifth backed the costs being picked up solely by port operators, despite this going against the UK’s “polluter pays” principle, soon to be enshrined in law by the Environment Bill, and 11% said it should not be funded at all if it is not commercially viable.

A 2020 BPA report examining the provision of shore power in UK ports found three primary barriers :

High capital costs for shoreside and energy infrastructure; a lack of demand for shoreside power from ships; and uncompetitive pricing of UK electricity against marine fuels.

BPA’s director of policy, Mark Simmonds, said: “Our research shows billions being invested by governments around the world to make shore power a reality. This demonstrates that there is a clear, proven model for making shore power work and it’s one where both supply and demand side issues are tackled simultaneously and public support is provided for the capital investment.

“We were pleased to see the clean maritime fund extended into a multi-year programme in the spending review and we look forward to learning how new transport funding will be allocated. We hope that Ministers recognise the strong case for allocating a significant part of this to maritime and a green maritime fund as many other countries have done.”