Bremerhaven’s Überseehafen as a model district for 100 per cent renewable energy supply
The vision of a carbon-neutral port is taking shape – and the key to making this vision become reality is SHARC.
SHARC is the acronym for a research project rolled out by various partners at the start of this year: Siemens AG, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Technische Universität Berlin and the Institute for Recycling at Bremen University of Applied Sciences are working on the development of “Smart Concepts for Sustainable Energy in Ports”, under the overall coordination of bremenports.
The Senator for Science and Ports, Claudia Schilling, rates the project as highly significant: “Bremen’s coalition government is determined to make fast progress in its quest to achieve port sustainability. SHARC can play a major role in achieving climate neutrality at the ports within the foreseeable future, thus making the ports a role model for other sectors of the economy.”
The following are just some of the issues tackled by the project:
What contribution can a port make towards achieving the transition to renewable energy in the transport sector?
How can we reduce energy consumption and integrate renewable sources of energy?
What energy storage capacities are required for a complete transition to renewable energy?
The researchers are currently conducting a comprehensive study of the energy consumption at Bremerhaven’s Überseehafen in order to obtain reliable answers to these complex questions. The study examines the public infrastructure managed by bremenports. To ensure a successful outcome, it is essential that the terminal operators are also involved in the project.
bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe praised the commitment of the participating enterprises: “Climate neutrality is a central task facing all European ports. As part of our greenports strategy, we are determined to defend our leading position in Europe in this field. It is satisfying to see that this commitment unites everyone involved in the activities at the port.”
The data for the study comes from BLG Auto Terminal, Eurogate Container Terminal, Eurogate Technical Services and the large cold store operated by BLG Kloosterboer. The above list indicates the vast quantity of data needed to ensure a qualified analysis. The study examines issues such as optimising energy consumption by the terminal railway, energy supply to the buildings, lighting at the ports, the drive systems of the cranes and straddle carriers, as well as options for the supply of electricity for handling ships at the port.
The project description states the objective as follows: “The project will simulate future scenarios in order to derive an investment concept for the interaction between different stakeholders in the port district, preparing the port district for the planned sustainable development in respect of energy technology and logistics.”
In order to achieve this objective, data is currently being collected for the Überseehafen district to serve as a basis for the development of various scenarios for the gradual transition of energy supply at the port to renewable energy sources. However, the project is designed as much more than a mere analysis and description. Specific investment plans and business models, for instance, are to be drawn up as part of the project by autumn of next year. The project also investigates which investments in renewable energy sources are needed to achieve the target of carbon-neutral port infrastructure.
Following the successful completion of the project at the end of next year, a decision will be reached on the specific investments with which the target of a carbon-neutral port can be achieved. Further applications for funding can then be submitted.
The project is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the 7th Energy Research Programme entitled “Innovations for the Energy Transition”.