Green ports: from Enel X and Legambiente 6 key points for sustainable development

Green ports: from Enel X and Legambiente 6 key points for sustainable development
A new report from Legambiente and Enel X aims at the decarbonisation of port infrastructures, paying particular attention to cold ironing, a set of technologies that make it possible to drastically reduce ship emissions in ports thanks to the connection to the electricity grid on the mainland.

Not only road transport but also maritime transport can inevitably contribute to combating climate change thanks to technologies that allow to electrify naval energy consumption in ports, together with the consumption of logistics and land port activities. It is important to reiterate, in fact, that the maritime sector is also responsible for 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, with estimates increasing between 50 and 250% by 2050.

Not surprisingly, at the naval sector is inevitably linked to that of ports, which thanks to the various technological advances can take the path of electrification. In this regard, the report by Legambiente and Enel X focuses on fuels for the decarbonisation of shipping and the prospect of its electrification. According to Legambiente, there are six key points that need to be prioritized during 2021.

The electrification of maritime transport and land logistics is a necessary step to give a further boost to the energy transition process underway in other industrial sectors, said Carlo Tamburi, director of Enel Italy. Enel has embarked on the path of progressive decarbonisation of its activities thanks to investments in the production of energy from renewable sources, in the digitization of networks and electrification of consumption; choices that have sustainability as a common denominator, a pillar of the company's business strategy. In line with this philosophy, today we presented the study carried out in collaboration with Legambiente which shows how cold ironing is not only a winning choice in terms of reducing climate-altering emissions, but also an opportunity for innovation and industrial growth for the entire Italian maritime sector.

In order to strengthen and make the Italian port system more sustainable, the Italian environmental association starts from the importance of defining an electricity tariff dedicated to cold ironing that can make it competitive with respect to use of the engines on board. Of further importance is the introduction of public financing or co-financing schemes to accelerate the transition of the Italian port system towards sustainability, together with the identification of priority interventions on the port system so as to start the electrification process. The key points are also the promotion of the electrification of port consumption with renewable sources and the development of a specific national roadmap that provides for the electrification of the entire port system. Finally, the development of railway infrastructures in ports and interconnections with the network so as to favor electric and rail transport for long and medium distances. If these measures were implemented, they could therefore contribute to the strengthening of the entire Italian system, leading to an innovation in the management of sustainability, as well as to the reduction of pollution deriving from maritime transport.

The time to invest in cold ironing, a technology that is mature today, and to strengthen connections with the railway network to create low-carbon freight transport chains, declared the national vice president of Legambiente, Edoardo Zanchini.

The route from to follow must therefore aim at innovation, digitalization of port logistics systems, energy efficiency of the airports, renewables and electrification of consumption. However, according to Legambiente and Enel X, enabling the so-called cold ironing of the 39 Italian ports of the TEN-T network would make it possible to avoid the combustion of over 635,000 tons of marine diesel each year. Not surprisingly, this result could also be optimized by greater integration between ports and the railway network itself.

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