Page 43 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
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Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation    43

                                         THE EU PORT POLICY AND GREEN PORTS

concerns but also preserve and           2. Modern state aid control: To                                          alternative fuels and this chicken
strengthen the European lead of the         facilitate investments in ports, in                                   and egg problem is a typical market
European industry and know-how at           particular green port infrastructure,                                 failure that adequate legislation and
global level.                               the Commission adopted a new                                          public funding can redress.
                                            General Block Exemption Regulation
Examples of such innovation can be          in May 2017. Member States will                                    4. Digitalisation: By simplifying
found in the ability of cranes to store     not be required any longer to                                         reporting and sharing data, maritime
the energy released when lowering a         notify to the Commission certain                                      transport can become more energy
container, or in the use of engine heat     port investments for prior state aid                                  efficient, attractive and easier to
in vessels to regulate the temperature      control. The list of infrastructure                                   integrate in the logistic network.
on board. Smart port management             includes the fixed, mobile or                                         The creation of a genuine European
can also combine measures to reduce         offshore port infrastructure allowing                                 Single Window Environment to
emissions, energy consumption and           a port to supply vessels with                                         digitally integrate all the reporting
costs by minimising ship idle time,         energy sources such as electricity,                                   formalities is therefore high on the
optimising the land side operations         hydrogen, or Liquefied Natural                                        European agenda. Digital solutions
of calls, using digital technologies,       Gas (LNG) which contribute to                                         and automation can also assist the
developing innovative mobility              the decarbonisation of transport                                      captain navigating the vessel into
concepts, renewable energies and            and enhance its environmental                                         the port, the terminal operations
the interlinking of power plants and        performance.                                                          and more broadly the sharing of
consumer plants to promote efficient                                                                              data between maritime, terminal,
use of resources.                        3. Multimodal and alternative fuel                                       rail, river and intermodal operators
                                            infrastructure: The Connecting                                        using for instance block chain
The EU port policy contributes to such      Europe Facility has awarded €1.1                                      technologies. In Horizon 2020, a
developments in particular through          billion since 2014 to projects to                                     call dedicated to smart ports and
four initiatives:                           improve rail and inland waterways                                     the port of the future was launched
                                            connexions to ports or to develop                                     last year. The call has generated
1. The Port Services Regulation:            alternative fuel facilities in ports                                  proposals for €160 million (10 times
   The regulation was adopted in            such as bunkering for vessels                                         the available budget!) which are
   February 2017 after three years of       powered by LNG or on-shore power                                      currently being evaluated.
   debate in the EP and the Council.        supply for moored vessels. In the
   It introduces a transparent access       latest so-called "Blending Call"                                   To facilitate the implementation of
   to the market of port services and       closed on 14 July, we received                                     the new recently adopted rules on
   transparent rules on financing           additional proposals which are now                                 ports and promote good practices on
   and charging. It promotes the            being evaluated. The European                                      all the above issues, the Directorate
   charging of environmental costs          Investment Banks and the European                                  General for Mobility and Transport has
   by explicitly allowing it and asking     Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)                              created a European Ports Forum in July
   the Commission to develop                also offer valuable opportunities                                  2017. The forum will be composed
   guidance to classify the vessels         to improve the bankability of                                      of member States representatives
   according to their environmental         projects, for instance the €750                                    and of organisations representing at
   performance. Indeed, although            million EFSI Green Shipping                                        European level the many stakeholders
   30 core European ports already           Guarantee Programme open for                                       involved in port activities. We look
   apply green charges to use their         both retrofitting of existing shipping                             forward to start working with the forum
   infrastructure, the study which the      as well as for the construction of                                 by the end of the year.
   Commission published in June             new vessels with a green innovation
   indicates that more environmental        aspect. The various EU programmes                                  In short, the years to come hold great
   benefits could be gained by a            are all the more important as                                      potential for the ports which are
   greater coordination and use of          they can help Member States                                        engaged to green their operations and
   such schemes. The regulation also        to implement the Directive on                                      promote more sustainable transport
   introduces port governance rules.        alternative fuel infrastructure which                              and the ports which are more broadly
   The later ensures for instance           requires LNG refuelling facilities to                              engaged in the energy transition.
   the regular consultation of local        be accessible for all the core ports                               These ports will find at European level
   stakeholders and communities on          of the trans-European network                                      many opportunities to develop their
   issues such as spatial planning and      by 2025. The lack of appropriate                                   strategies and disseminate their good
   port environmental matters.              infrastructure indeed prevents viable                              practices. l

1) The article only reflects the views of the author and not necessarily the ones of the European Commission.
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