The cruise industry has faced increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the impact of its operations on the environment. With the goal of becoming a sustainable industry by 2050, many cruise lines and cruise ports are exploring innovative ways to minimize emissions and conserve energy.
One such effort is shore power, which allows cruise ships to shut down their engines while docked and connected to the local electric power grid. Port Everglades has recently completed a study to add shore power to its eight cruise terminals, which will have a significant impact on the number of harmful emissions produced by cruise ships.
Shore Power & Cruise Ships
Shore power is a technology that enables cruise ships to connect to the local electric power grid while they are docked, reducing the number of emissions they produce. Engine exhaust gases from cruise ships are significant contributors to air pollution in ports and are often a point of discussion with locals that live near cruise ports.
Shore power infrastructure allows ships to turn off their engines and connect to the local power grid, minimizing the number of emissions produced.
Port Everglades has now finalized plans that would enable the port to develop infrastructure capable of delivering up to 16 megawatts of electricity simultaneously to each of the eight terminals. The electricity will be generated by Florida Power & Light using various energy sources, including natural gas, nuclear, solar, and wind.
“Shore power, it’s a ‘shocking’ project because we have been exploring the possibilities of electrification since 2009 when we built Terminal 18 to homeport the largest cruise ships in the world,” said CEO and Port Director Jonathan Daniels.
“This technology speaks to our core values of strength, resiliency, and sustainability. We are ready to harness this alternative for the good of our partners and our community.”
The implementation of this shore power and electrification initiative is projected to eliminate 11,366 metric tons of CO2 and reduce NOx and SO2 emissions by 75% and 51%, respectively, equivalent to taking 2,470 cars off the road annually.
The estimated cost for the project is approximately $20 million per cruise terminal, for a total cost of $160 million. The project is expected to be partly financed by participating cruise lines, such as Carnival Corporation, Disney Cruise Line, and the Royal Caribbean Group.
Cruise Industry Hard at Work to Clean Up Image
The initiatives from Port Everglades can be seen as a small part of a much broader plan to minimize the impact the cruise industry has on the environment. In 2050, the cruise industry has set itself the goal to be net carbon zero.
To achieve these goals, the industry is investing in innovative technologies such as advanced wastewater treatment systems, battery-powered ships, and hybrid propulsion systems. In addition, many ports are investing in shore power to reduce air emissions and noise pollution.
The industry is expected to meet or exceed its 2050 environmental goals with these efforts. This is excellent news for both the environment and the millions of passengers who enjoy cruising each year.