Ports are key players in energy sector

Ports are key players in energy sector

Ports are main entry points of energy commodities

According to the ESPO Fact-Finding Report ‘Trends in EU Ports Governance 2016’, Energy commodities represent a substantial part of traffic volumes of many European ports. The survey showed that 25% of European ports have more than 50% of their traffic linked to energy commodities.

Ports play a key role in the import, export, storage and distribution of fossil and other energy sources, such as crude oil, gas, LNG, coal, biomass, etc. Developments impacting these commodities like EU and government policies, geopolitical problems, price fluctuations, changes in energy suppliers and demand, are therefore very relevant for the business and strategy of ports.

Ports are locations for energy production

Traditionally, ports are locations for energy production because of the easy access to raw energy sources. The fact-finding survey showed that 50% of respondent ports have energy production plants located in the port area. In addition, energy production can also be located right in the vicinity of the port, which was not included in the survey. Together with traditional fossil-fueled energy plants, ports are increasingly generating sustainable energy with wind and solar, biomass and waste-based energy production expanding in the ports.

Port authorities are facilitators and supporters of the energy transition

As demand for cleaner energies increases, fossil fuels are slowly being complemented or replaced by renewable energy sources. To support this energy transition, many port authorities have taken up a key role by hosting renewable energy production and promoting its uptake. For example, 38% of the respondents to the survey are initiating or facilitating that investors bring renewable energy production to the port or the region. Furthermore, some ports go even further and become (co-)investors (16%) or operators (13%) of the facilities.

Background: Trends in EU Ports Governance

The information above was retrieved from the results of the sixth edition of the ESPO Fact-Finding Report ‘Trends in EU Ports Governance 2016’ that was published in June 2016. The aim of the report is to monitor port governance and organisation in Europe and its evolution over time. It is based on a web-based survey that was sent directly to individual port authorities. 86 port authorities from 19 EU Member States, Norway and Iceland completed the questionnaire. Together, they represent more than 200 ports and more than 57% of the overall volume of cargo handled in the European Union.

The PORTOPIA platform will bring an important value added for ports in terms of governance models. In fact, some of the fields of the ESPO Fact-Finding Report are going to be transferred to the PORTOPIA platform, allowing ports to compare geographical ranges, EU averages and evolutions over time in terms of governance model across Europe.

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