News from the BPA

COP26 Transport Day: MPs back co-investment model for shore power

A majority of MPs with a view say that shore power for ships at berth in UK ports should be funded entirely by government or a combination of government and industry. Over 100 MPs were surveyed by phone in September and October.

Updated BPA research finds no examples of large shore power schemes without public investment anywhere in the world

A survey of over 100 UK members of parliament (MPs) for the British Ports Association has revealed a tentative consensus for a joint model of funding for shore power in ports.

55% of those with a view said that the government has a role in supporting shore power, either funding it entirely or through co-investment with industry. 11% said it should not be funded at all if it is not commercially viable. MPs were surveyed in September and October and the fieldwork is attached to this press notice.

10% of MPs said that shore power should not be funded at all if not commercially viable. Over a fifth back 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.

Who should pay for shore power? We asked 101 MPs…

The Government10%
Ship Operators7%
Port Operators22%
A combination of the Government and industry40%
It should not be funded if not commercially viable10%
Don’t know11%

New Research on Funding

As the COP26 climate change conference focuses on transport today (10 November), the BPA is publishing new updated findings from research into shore power provision around the world.  The BPA examined 92 shore power projects over 1MVA undertaken in the last 20 years, using a variety of public and private sources and again found no known instance of shore power projects installed without public funding support.

This updates work undertaken for a report into the barriers to the provision of shore power published by the BPA in May 2020, adding ten projects announced in the meantime and making a new map with some of the projects publicly available in one place.

The 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
  • Uncompetitive pricing of UK electricity against marine fuels

The UK Government’s transport decarbonisation plan published earlier this year committed to a consultation by the end of 2021 on the possibility of regulating shore power, including a possible mandate for ports and/or ships. 

Ahead of an expected consultation this year, the BPA has worked with industry partners on a series of common principles that any UK shore power regulation should conform to, including being technology neutral (goal based), equitable, addressing wider network and planning issues, and accompanied by public investment.  These principles will be published and form the basis of the BPA’s response to the government’s proposals once they are made public.

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.

Mark Simmonds, Director of Policy at the British Ports Association

MP Survey Data
The survey of MPs was undertaken by Savanta for the BPA between 7 September and 25 October 2021. 101 MPs were asked the following question: “Electricity connections for ships in ports can reduce harmful shoreside emissions. Yet there are few connections available in the UK, primarily due to high capital costs. If the Government were to require more connections be made available to shipping in UK ports, which of the following do you think should be primarily responsible for funding them?”

The BPA’s shore power report from May 2020 can be found here.