National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) has partnered with Siemens to create a free online tool to help UK ports meet their net zero targets. With the support and guidance from the British Ports Association (BPA), the decarbonisation tool will help ports forecast the future infrastructure required to meet potential increased demand for electricity from zero emission port operations.
The Maritime sector is responsible for 5% of UK transport emissions, with diesel fuel predominantly used to power vehicles and equipment. It is estimated that between now and around 2050, the annual electricity demand across the ports could increase to around 250 Gigawatt hours (GWh) under a ‘business as usual’ scenario and to more than 4,000 GWh under an ambitious emission reduction scenario.
If ports are to meet their net zero targets, the demand for clean energy will need to be increased and ports will likely need completely new connections for transmission. Also, NGET will need to invest in the network for the increased capacity which could include a range of upgrades to substations and circuits.
Ports have already begun to decarbonise with government modelling showing they can achieve net zero through a transition to alternative fuel and the integration of ports into the decarbonised energy network.
The decarbonisation tool hopes to help accelerate the transition by modelling future peak demand for electricity and give an estimate of the connections required, both to the local distribution network and the national transmission system.
It does this by asking questions about the assets a port has on site – from the number of berths, and types of cranes, to the number of car parking spaces – matching it with estimates of the peak power demand for the site.
The tool is offered in two versions. One version makes assessments based on the asset information input; the other version is customisable, allowing the port to change the assumptions if appropriate. The idea is to make the tool simple to use, and to give ports preliminary guidance to allow for a more detailed insight to meet their requirements.
Once ports have downloaded and worked through the decarbonisation tool, they can contact National Grid with the preliminary findings, for a more in-depth conversation if required.