A typical port operation involves ocean-going ships, yard trucks, forklifts, cranes, drayage trucks and railcars; add in the docked ships and that’s a lot of burning diesel. The market for energy-efficient port operations is developing quickly. Following California’s lead, the top initiative across US ports is to reduce emissions and, with electric power, many ports are slowly becoming green.
Over 100,000 vessels are docking at ports every day, a huge problem we face is that even while docked, ships still burn fuel. Shore power is expected to become one of the most impactful tools for making ports more efficient. Shore powering works by enabling ships to shut down their engines and connect to an electric grid while docked, cutting down on unnecessary emissions.
According to Navigant’s Research Report, shore power utility electricity revenue in port operations is expected to grow from $32 million in 2015 to almost $335 million in 2024.
The Georgia Port Authority brought North American ports into the electric age when they unveiled their first four electric rubber-tired gantry cranes (ERTG). Since then, ports have transitioned to zero-emissions, renewable energy and even on-site generated power. Ports across the US are initiating clean truck programs, these programs not only promote the use of trucks with newer, clean running engines, but they also replace and update older model vehicles.
New technologies and incentives are expected to drive improvements during the next decade for energy efficiency. More ports are provided with the capability to drastically improve energy efficiency and become more sustainable with the use of shore power, upgrades or retrofitting cargo equipment to run on electricity and natural gas. With global trade largely focused on ocean ports, more efficient port operations can create significant opportunities for energy efficiencies and utility revenues over the next decade.
What kind of port upgrades have you seen take place to move toward energy efficiency? Share your thoughts below!
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