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European Alternative Fuels Observatory

Ports and infrastructure

Onshore Power Supply (OPS)

Onshore power supply (OPS) is a promising solution to improve air quality in ports and coastal areas. In place of using fuel, ships 'plug in' at ports. If electricity supply relies on clean and renewable energy sources, onshore power supply can reduce emissions at berth to zero, and decrease noise levels. Close to 10 % of ships calling at ports of the EU are equipped with it, with numbers steadily growing.

On ships at berth, requirements on the use of onshore power supply are found to be relevant and necessary for achieving the decarbonisation objectives by most stakeholders, in the impact assessment of the Commission. Studies suggest that the average carbon dioxide emissions from the EU energy mix are around 50% lower than emissions from diesel engines. The use of OPS abates air pollution produced by ships as well as reduces the amount of GHG emissions generated by maritime transport. OPS represents an increasingly clean power supply available to ships at berth, in view of the growing renewables share in the EU electricity mix.

OPS for inland vessels

Particularly in agglomerations and environmentally sensitive areas an efficient and ecologically viable energy supply of the shipping sector is essential to boost sustainably the business location as well as the competitiveness and environmental performance of the waterway as mode of transport. By connecting inland vessels to the local power grid, diesel generators can be switched off during berthing and, therefore, noise and exhaust gases for residents, ship crews and passengers can be reduced significantly.

OPS infrastructure at Inland Waterway Ports in Europe

OPS IWW 2023

LNG Bunkering for Inland Waterway vessels

LNG IWW 2023


Information provided on inland port infrastructure in table format. 

Inland Port Infrastructure data
(75.94 KB - XLSX)