Energy-wise ports

During the last couple of years, there have been much global news and new EU regulations concerning environmental issues, especially also in the maritime sector. This had a measurable impact on the current or future day-to-day activities in ports and especially also on the harbour’s energy and environmental profile. There are already several official documents describing the vision for a future sustainable port – for example, EU Green Deal, EU’s Fit for 55 package and ESPO Green Guide 2021. All put great focus on environmental concerns and energy efficiency. These are important issues and require certain actions from port authorities. Addressing them can be a difficult task, especially for smaller ports. Missing funds and limited personnel make it hard to dedicate enough time and resources to perform appropriate considerations.

To support port authorities in meeting the challenge posed by the energy transformation in the whole maritime sector, the Energy-wise Port (EVISA)-project developed self-evaluation tools for port authorities. The EVISA tools enable the ports to establish their own strategic energy management plans, assess their carbon footprint and find out the right ways to decrease their environmental impacts. The energy-wise port of the future, according to the EVISA project, will be energy- and resource-efficient, as well as low carbon.

Self-assessment tools to improve the energy efficiency of ports

The goal is to first evaluate the energy-related baseline for the port and in the end to develop an energy management roadmap based on all previously collected information - addressing important energy efficiency issues and introducing environmental measures. The easy-to-use tools include a vast set of questions and case-related instructions based on the information available from the harbours. The compiled set of questions and procedure recommendations were tested as case studies in real-life conditions during the EVISA project.

There are four different self-assessment tools and one planning tool: a sustainability pre-survey, an energy mapping survey, a renewable energy potential assessment tool, a carbon footprint calculator and a strategic energy management planning tool. Each of those can be handled separately. However, especially the planning tool benefits from using the various self-assessment tools beforehand. Every tool has its own guidebook and supporting materials. Time requirements vary between the different tools and depend strongly on the availability of information and expertise of the person assigned to conduct the assessment. While some tools require practical knowledge about the port’s daily operations, others are easier to handle from a management perspective.

The EVISA-project

The project is implemented by the Water, Energy and Environmental research unit of the University of Oulu. In addition to this, a couple of Finnish ports took part in the project as test beds for the developed self-assessment tools. Furthermore, the national Finnish Port Association is committed to the project and acts as a dissemination channel and provides a home base for the tools even after the project ends. The project received funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ERDF) from 01.01.2020 to 31.12.2022.

Where to find the tools?

At the moment, the EVISA tools are being finalised before the official versions will be published on this webpage (the expected publication time is December 2022). Preliminary versions of the tools can for now be found on the project’s own website. Follow the link to get more information.