10 Oct 2019, 13:43
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany to make it more attractive for ships to turn off engines in ports and use power grid instead

Clean Energy Wire

[CORRECTION: ships will not be obliged to use power from land, but conditions improved to make it more attractive to do so]

With the help of several regulatory and infrastructure changes, it will be more attractive for ships entering German port cities to turn off their combustion engines for the duration of their stopover and use electricity from the local grid instead for power supply, Germany's economy ministry has said, together with the country's coastal federal states. "We want to make Germany's port cities cleaner. These measures will make an important contribution to clean air and the reduction of CO2 and noise in the North Sea's and Baltic Sea's port cities," said economy minister Peter Altmaier in a joint press release. Daniel Günther, state premier of Schleswig-Holstein, said using electricity from an onshore grid connection instead of marine diesel is an important step to make Germany's ports more climate-friendly and to make electricity a more economical alternative to fossil fuels for ships. Port infrastructure in Hamburg, Kiel and Rostock will be upgraded to cater for cruise ships, ferries and container vessels, which will receive electricity from land connections with better financial conditions than in the past, for example by reducing the renewables surcharge or grid fees.

Ship engines running on marine diesel are seen as one of the most climate-damaging technologies and a direct threat to the air quality in port cities. If treated as a country, the global marine transport sector would have ranked 6th in terms of CO2 emissions in 2015, just below Germany, according to the ICCT. Alternative propulsion systems considered for ships include liquefied natural gas engines and modified internal combustion engines for using a range of blended synthetic fuels.

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