The new regulation requires ship operators to reduce the amount of emissions produced by their vessels while berthed at the quayside. Article 10 of the AFIR sets targets for Member States for shore-side electricity supply in inland waterway ports:
- at least one installation providing shore-side electricity supply to inland waterway vessels is deployed at all TEN-T core inland waterway ports by 31 December 2024;
- at least one installation providing shore-side electricity supply to inland waterway vessels is deployed at all TEN-T comprehensive inland waterway ports by 31 December 2029
In view of the fact that Member States have different governance models for ports, Member States should be able to decide how best to deploy infrastructure within their ports and in the different terminals according to their needs in order to achieve these objectives. It is important that within ports and, where appropriate, between terminals, infrastructure is deployed where the maximum return on investment and utilisation rate will result in the highest environmental benefits in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
It is important to note that the AFIR directive can be adjusted when other clean energy sources become applicable and available for inland shipping. This directive serves as a tool to realize the infrastructure for clean energy supply when needed.
The new regulation, once published in the Official Journal of the EU after summer, will have a significant impact on the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure in inland navigation. The new legislation will require Member States to ensure that an adequate number of charging and refuelling points is available for inland waterway vessels by 2030. This is a major step forward in promoting sustainable transport in Europe.