Giving Flight to Wind Technology in Shipping

Despite the global pandemic, the world of shipping continues to debate the various methods of achieving lowered emissions. A recent study from the University of Manchester found that if stringent carbon emission mitigation measures are applied comprehensively throughout the next decade, the shipping industry will still be able to make a positive impact to fulfil the Paris Climate Agreement without having to ‘rush in’ legislation that could significantly harm the commercial prospects of shipping against the backdrop of decarbonisation. However, there is still a degree of uncertainty when it comes to active decarbonisation strategies and a lack of consistency in the future fuels debate. Something that should now start to become crystal clear for shipping is the role of wind as a renewable energy source is a viable step and a key part of any decarbonisation strategy, writes Romain Gibon, product manager, Airseas.

Wind propulsion is not new to shipping; for centuries, sail power helped countries cross the seas and transport valuable goods around the world. However, we need to start encouraging an attitude change in how the industry sees wind technology. There are positive signs that this attitude is slowly changing. Already the International Windships Association contains over 100 members – ten times more than in 2014. However, to maintain the momentum of the attitude change, wind needs to be presented as a modern solution that provides the performance and economic benefits that owners are looking for. To help speed up this attitude change, seeking inspiration from appropriate industries outside shipping could help…