Cruise ship at Southampton. File Image / Pixabay.
Shore power is being underused by cruise ships docking at Southampton, according to new research.
Between April last year and the end of July, there were more than 300 days when at least one cruise ship was berthed at the UK port. However, during the same period, shore power was used on 71 occasions which suggests that the facility is being underused, the research found.
The findings were published by political news provider Opendemocracy from an analysis of Associated British Ports data.
In addition, the data suggests that the ships that used shore power did so for about five hours per visit on average when typically spending 12 hours in port, according to the findings.
The lack of shore power, which is also known as cold ironing, is a bug bear for environmentalists. When used, it can dramatically reduce emissions and benefit public health. Cruise ships keep power running when docked, a practice that contributes to higher levels of air pollution in port.