Port of Nice: the Energy Transition Plan

A new action plan

On 10 September 2021, the Nice City Council presented its action plan for the maritime environmental transition. SeaZen enthusiastically welcomes all actions in favour of environmental protection, especially those undertaken by one of its development regions, the urban community of Nice. After Monaco, this article proposes to follow the specificities of Nice and to decipher the strategy implemented by its mayor.

Presentation of the Energy Transition Plan on 10-9-2021 by Mr Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice

Presentation of the Energy Transition Plan on 10-9-2021
by Mr Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice

As the 5th largest city in France, Nice has relatively important means at its disposal but must deal with its history in order to move towards the energy transition. This action plan is a declaration of intent, the results of which will depend on the studies that are launched. We will update this article regularly as progress is announced.

A Marine Protected Area on the Promenade des Anglais

Nice is launching a project to create a Marine Protected Area between the airport and the Cap de Nice. The definition of a marine protected area is variable and depends on each territory. At this stage we do not know the details, which will obviously be the result of consultations. The announced objective for Nice is to preserve biodiversity. More concretely, this implies banning fishing in certain areas and allowing it in others. In this way, fish stocks can be replenished in the protected areas and fishermen can carry out their activities only in the authorised areas under better operating conditions. Improving the conditions of exploitation favours local fishing in a short circuit and will be accompanied by an auction, which is ultimately also beneficial for the consumer.

A marine protected area from the airport to the Cape of Nice
A marine protected area
from the airport to the Cape of Nice

Plastics phase-out in 2024

The elimination of plastics announced for 2024 will certainly be good news for marine animals. Of course, with the Ligurian current from east to west, it will be the residents of Antibes who will perhaps benefit the most! The measure should also be generalised to all the towns located to the east of Nice, as well as to Monaco and Italy, so that the people of Nice can really benefit from the advantages of a collective action, particularly with regard to macro-waste. It is certain that this policy is going in the right direction - like the Ligurian current! - because it is the whole Mediterranean basin that must be preserved.

Electrification of the Nice quays by 2024

Large ships sometimes consume as much electricity as small towns. Even if they are at the quayside, they have to switch on their generators to produce electricity because the electrical port facilities are not powerful enough. These generators are often oversized, especially for superyachts. In some cases, the excess electricity generated must be consumed to preserve the facilities, so seawater must be heated. In all cases, the electrification of the docks directly eliminates the exhaust emissions of the generators and avoids an unacceptable waste of energy.  

Electrification of the quays, shuttle for Monaco and carbon tax on the programme of the Port of Nice

Electrification of the quays, shuttle for Monaco and carbon tax
on the programme of the Port of Nice

Introduction of a €60 carbon tax for boarding ferries

The nuisance in terms of traffic jams and pollution from the thousands of vehicles that cross the city of Nice to board a ferry is clearly significant. It would seem that Nice cannot decide whether to open or close a ferry line, as this decision depends on the State. However, the Mayor would like to study the possibility of introducing a €60 carbon tax for all vehicles embarking or disembarking.

Launch of a Nice - Monaco maritime shuttle for 2025

With more than 40,000 "frontier workers", the motorway, the 3 cornices and the railway line are saturated. The sea appears to be an interesting solution now that the tramway reaches the port. The launch of a call for tenders in September 2021 proves that the project is underway. The Metropolis is looking for a technical solution that is viable in operation so that users with a Ligne d'Azur subscription can board the train in the same way as they currently board one of the Metropolis buses. The choice of arriving in Cap d'Ail rather than Monaco considerably simplifies the implementation from a legal and technical point of view.

Here is an extract from the specifications published by the Metropolis:

« The total estimated travel time between Nice and Cap d'Ail is estimated at approximately 1 hour under the following conditions: 15 minutes embarkation/disembarkation, 10 minutes manoeuvring and exit from the port, 25 minutes sailing at 20 knots in normal sailing conditions, 10 minutes manoeuvring and entry into the port.  The travel time will be indicated for each solution proposed by the economic operators for each proposed solution (less or more than 1 hour). The vessels desired for the service must have a minimum capacity of 90 passengers. »

Let's hope that the innovations proposed by maritime transporters will be equal to these challenges.

Deciphering the specificities of Nice

The choice to implement a carbon tax and the creation of a line with Monaco are choices closely linked to the specificities of a very touristy city like Nice.

Let's take the €60 carbon tax. The tourists in transit who will embark on the ferries will contribute to financing the maritime energy transition. 

As for the maritime transport shuttle, the call for expressions of interest comes at the very moment when manufacturers are testing or developing numerous technological innovations and the tram is operational. The timing seems right for 40'000 Nice residents working in Monaco, and the chosen solution could become a showcase of innovation radiating across the Côte d'Azur.

At seaZen, with over 4000 visitors on our solar boats, we are convinced that the energy transition is an opportunity to live better without it being more expensive to use. TripAdvisor shows that the public is receptive by ranking seaZen as the number one choice of travellers.

La navigation solaire est la destination préférée des voyageurs à Nice selon TripAdvisor
Solar navigation is the favourite destination for travellers in Nice according to TripAdvisor

We invite readers interested in the energy transition to read our Ship of the Future section where they will find a watch on the most innovative boats, as well as a follow-up of the actions taken by Monaco in favour of the blue economy..