Maidstone: With the Paris climate talks finishing over the weekend and shipping’s carbon footprint under the spotlight more than ever before, alternate sources of propulsion are eagerly being researched. Founded last year the International Windship Association is making big strides to get the industry as a whole to believe in the power of the wind as a free and formidable source of ship power.
IWSA’s secretary Gavin Allwright tells Martime CEO: “We feel that the outlook is bright, and the industry has started to turn it’s head towards wind propulsion over the last couple of years with the drivers of increased regulation, mandated efficiency improvements for vessels and an unstable, uncertain fuel supply and cost future.“
The global market will demand the shipping sector provides a low carbon supply chain, Allwright reckons. As technological development happens rapidly in other less conservative sectors, competition for low-carbon fuels or power from the grid will be rife and prices will increase, he thinks.
“This will increasingly feed into the shipping sector, and as more demonstration technologies and newbuild/retrofit vessels come online over the coming year or two, many of the perception barriers will disipate even further,“ Allwright says.
The association claims that wind power can deliver 10 to 30% fuel savings as retrofit and around 50% for newbuilds.
“Shipping has an option where it has exclusive access to a free and abundant power source that others cannot harness, that is wind propulsion,” Allwright concludes.