Danube Commission and the SEANERGY project consortium organized the Danube Regional Workshop on Energy Transition in Inland Ports (Budapest, 21 September 2023)

On 21 September 2023, the DC Secretariat/Expert Group on Ports, Port of Enns and Circletouch organized the Danube Regional Workshop on Energy Transition in Inland Ports in the framework of the EU HORIZON Europe project “SEANERGY” ( Sustainability Educational Programme for Greener Fuels and Energy on ports. The workshop took place in online format and involved more than 40 participants, mostly from administrations of the Danube ports and members of the SEANERGY project consortium, including representatives of DG Move, project team representatives, and port associations.

The SEANERGY project aims to develop guidelines for the greening of ports and to create a Clean Energy Centre Master Plan to address this challenge. This Master Plan will include goals, targets, training modules and instructions for short-, medium- and long-term actions that will enable port stakeholders to assess, plan and implement activities to transform ports into clean energy hubs.

During the meeting, the SEANERGY project team presented the first results of the project and in particular, the overall methodology that will lead to the implementation of the Clean Energy Hub Master Plan in 2024. This includes specific tools for ports to use in their decarbonisation and energy transition process.  Participants in the event mentioned that the development of green ports is necessary in the coming period and that the impact on the energy transition means that many ports on the Danube have taken the first steps in this area.

The DC Secretariat presented the initiative “Joint Statement of the Danube Port Authorities and Ports Stakeholders” and the developments since 2022. An ESPO expert presented the perspectives of seaports in relation to the EU taxonomy and explained the implications and possible conclusions for river ports. The representative of the Port of Enns drew particular attention to the complex requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which enters into force on 5 January 2023 and requires companies to report on the environmental and social impacts of their activities and on the verification (assurance) of the reported information.

In the last part of the workshop, the participants engaged in an interactive discussion with the Danube Region stakeholders on the implementation of the technologies already identified in the project, the gaps that organisations need to fill, support measures and economic or technological barriers that stop or slow down green investments and the possible creation of new jobs in the port environment. There was agreement on the need for a long-term, stable framework for policies, regulations and investments in the field of greening ports.

Some of the issues raised during the workshop will be discussed by EM Ports meeting scheduled for 12 March 2024.