Shore power is the notion which indicates that a ship is connected to a shore side electrical power unit for its power supply on board. Ships sailing at sea basically use their own generators to produce electricity. Running diesel engines in the port however, is unnecessary stressful for the environment. It produces mainly emissions of CO2, NOx and fine PM10 particles.
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Shore power Infrastructure provides ships at berth the possibility to turn off their auxiliary engines and to use a connection to the electricity power grid on shore. This offers many advantages. The emissions whilst lying at berth are thus avoided. Shore power also means an advantage in relation to sound nuisance and quality of life on board.
The use of shore power is recommended and supported at different policy levels. Shore power is one of the strategies that are recommended by the World Ports Climate Initiative to reduce the environmental impact of ships. In May 2006 the European Commission issued a recommendation to encourage the use of shore power by ships at berth in community ports and in doing so wanted to stimulate the Member States to provide shore power infrastructure. The continuous expansion of shore power facilities also contributes to the implementation of the Flemish 3E-Inland Navigation Covenant of 2009 and the 3E Inland Navigation Plan. The 3E Inland Navigation Covenant aims, amongst others, at a significant reduction of CO, NOx fine particles and CO2. The Air Quality Plan approved on March 30th, 2012 by the Flemish Government foresees actions to encourage the use of shore power.
To fully utilise the added value of shore power, a harmonisation of the management system and payment system is being sought.
Shore power is already being offered at a number of locations, see 'Request shore power' on www.walstroomplatform.be. In the framework of the Climate Fund, the waterway administrators NV Waterwegen en Zeekanaal and NV De Scheepvaart will make an additional effort to expand the network further.