The shipping industry is now set on a serious decarbonisation course and the search is on for credible, viable and cost-effective solutions to meet the IMO’s initial strategy challenge to peak GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. Wind propulsion technologies can help cut fuel costs significantly, make vessels compliant with existing and impending emission regulations, and create energy security and long-term resilience in a volatile market.
SMM 2018, one of the world’s largest shipping events held in Hamburg from 4th-7th September this year, offers a great opportunity to explore some of these wind propulsion solutions and visit exhibiting companies that are using 21st century technology to drive the reintroduction of clean, predictable maritime wind propulsion systems.
The Head of Ships at exhibitor MARIN, Guilhem Gaillarde said: “Zero emission shipping and sustainable activities on our oceans are the most important challenges we, as a maritime community, need to tackle in the coming decades. This energy revolution will require smart solutions to be developed and the use of wind as a direct energy resource on board ships is part of that revolution. MARIN, as a leading and independent maritime institute, is dedicating a significant effort to help the industry developing innovative solutions and ship owners in implementing such technique in their operations. Winds of changes will blow in the shipping sector, so better be prepared for it!”
Flettner rotors are a growing wind propulsion trend in the industry, with four new vessels outfitted with rotors in the last 12 months. Marigreen, a Dutch-German joint industry project partnership of 15 maritime companies and research institutions, has recently fitted its Ecoflettner rig for sea trials on the MV Fehn Pollux, a 4,200dwt general cargo vessel and Norsepower has installations on Estraden, a Bore Ro-Ro and General Cargo service operating between the UK and Belgium and the Viking Grace, a Viking Line cruise-ferry operating in the Baltic. They are also currently installing Rotorsails on board a Maersk Tankers 109,647dwt Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker. Norsepower CEO, Tuomas Riski stated: “Norsepower’s mission is to reduce the environmental impact of shipping by providing efficient, easy to use and reliable auxiliary wind propulsion for ships. Auxiliary wind propulsion is one of the key technologies for shipping to achieve the demanding fuel and emissions reduction requirements.”
Two other companies utilising variations on hard wingsail technology are Bound4Blue and Peaceboat’s Ecoship Project. Bound4Blue asserts that, ‘by installing b4b’s wingsail system on a medium-sized tanker we would save up to 2,300 tonnes of fuel and the associated 7,200 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of 2.450 cars. If we reach only 1% of global fleet, 4 million tons of CO2 would be saved, the equivalent to 1.3 million cars.’ Bound4Blue is currently building two wingsails to be installed in early 2019 on a 40m longliner fishing vessel owned by OR.PA.GU and on a converted Bulk Carrier.
Peace Boat’s Ecoship is the next stage of Peace Boat’s journey to promote climate action by constructing the world’s most sustainable cruise ship. The 55,000 tonne, 2,000 passenger, Ecoship will be fitted with 10 retractable sails as wind-assist propulsion for the vessel. Yoshioka Tatsuya, Director and Founder of Peace Boat stated: “The maritime world still has a lot of work to do to reach the SDG goals set for 2030. Our Ecoship will be an example of all the changes that are possible for a more sustainable maritime world and we look forward to exploring opportunities with new partners for collaboration at SMM.”
Since the last SMM in 2016, an EU commissioned report has outlined the potential wind propulsion market by 2030, which could amount to 3,700–10,700 installed systems on bulkers & tankers, associated with approx. 3.5–7.5 Mt CO2 savings.