Mandate green shore power for UK ports and ships

New mandatory targets to push ports and ships into shore power technology to reduce emissions. UK Chamber of Shipping

New mandatory targets must push ports into installing, and subsequently ships into using; shore power technology to reduce emissions, according to the UK Chamber of Shipping.


This forms part of a 12-point mandatory regulatory framework, called for by the industry. Particularly, to drive widespread adoption of shore power and other zero-emission solutions at UK ports by 2030 at the latest.

The proposals come in response to a call for evidence by the Department of Transport. In the meantime, it follows new findings from Hong Kong-based Fung Research, which shows China has 50 shore power facilities.

Currently, only two British ports incorporate shore power facilities; Orkney and Southampton.

A report last year also found the US, Canada, Norway and Sweden have more than double, compared to the UK’s shore power facilities.

Shore power provides electric charge points that can replenish battery-powered ships in port. It also allows crews to switch off engines while vessels are in berth.

The Uk Chamber of Shipping

“The UK is 20 years behind onshore power. Catching up now requires a clear and targeted regulatory framework to drive adoption across our fleets and portsThe government must act fast to back deployment of green solutions like shore power, which are already tried, tested and trusted. Our ships are already making progress in decarbonisation.”

Sarah Treseder, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping
Research findings

The lack of availability of shore power in ports remains one of the major barriers to the technology’s uptake across the country.  A recent survey of UK Chamber of Shipping members found that:

  • 78% consider the lack of port infrastructure to be the biggest hurdle to implementation
  • 48% cited the cost of retrofitting existing fleets
  • 43% pointed toward the lack of regulatory requirements

Moreover, the industry body urges the government to invest alongside the industry. Hence, to drive the adoption of shore power in ports and ships, similar to how it has publicly invested in electric charging points for cars, and how other governments have supported industry in developing their own shore power facilities.  

Ships that don’t plug into electric shore power technology at ports should pay compliance fine, according to the 12-point policy plan. And the proceeds should go towards establishing a new greenhouse gas fund; dedicated to rolling out shore power across all UK ports and fleets.

Using shore power in ports can contribute to a substantial and quick cut in local air and noise pollution. Thus, help deliver the UK’s net-zero target through lowering ships’ greenhouse gas emissions, the UK Chamber of Shipping said.

Research last year, commissioned by Maritime UK and produced by Dutch-based consultants, Royal HaskoningDHV, found the UK is significantly behind the rest of the world in developing shore power capabilities.

While the UK has only very recently opened two across its coast, last year the US had 10 shore power facilities, and the likes of Canada (5), Germany (4), Italy (3) and France (3) had multiple.

And other EU member states including Norway (11), Sweden (8) Finland (3) and Denmark (3) are also ahead of the UK in shore power capabilities.

Source: UK Chamber of Shipping

See Also
Read More