Suggesting new financial instruments for electric shipping

15 December 2022

Electrification in Swedish shipping can be increased. Therefore, Transport analyses proposes new control instruments for electric shipping, including a tax reduction for shore power and support for charging infrastructure in ports.

In Sweden, there are about twenty electrified ships. The corresponding figure globally is around 400, which is a fraction of the total size of the fleet. Although the number of electric ships is growing rapidly, the conversion of shipping has not progressed as far as that of road traffic. On behalf of the government, Transport analyses has therefore investigated the potential for increased use of fully or partially electric ships and for an increased use of shore and charging current in ports.

And the potential exists, but it differs between battery electric ships and battery hybrid ships, Trafikanalys writes in the report published on Thursday.

"Battery-electric ships are, for example, best suited for smaller passenger ships with steady traffic between ports with charging facilities. For battery hybrid ships, on the other hand, the flexibility is greater and there we assess that the entire fleet has the potential to use electric hybrid operation", says Björn Olsson, project manager at Trafikanalys in a press release.

As the electric ship fleet grows, the ports' electrification with infrastructure for charging and shore power also needs to increase. Sweden is at the forefront of Europe in terms of the number of ports that offer shore power in some form, but the total use of shore power is low. According to Transport analyses’ calculations, shore current only makes up 5 percent of the total energy that ships use at berth in Swedish ports. Other energy is produced on board primarily by diesel-powered generators.

"Land current that larger ships use in ports has a tax discount. We believe that it would be reasonable to introduce a tax discount also for smaller ships", says Björn Olsson.

According to Trafikanalys' proposal, the tax reduction for shore power, which currently applies to vessels over 400 gross tons, should also apply to smaller vessels in commercial traffic. It is also proposed that shipping should receive similar targeted instruments as road shipping and aviation received to adjust.

°An example of a role model is the climate premium for electric aircraft, which is currently being investigated by the Energy Agency. We believe that a similar climate premium in shipping could work", says Björn Olsson.


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