A policy brief released by the EU Interreg North Sea Region Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project shows the potential of wind power to cut ship emissions and reduce fuel consumption and outlines some of the current barriers to uptake.
Modern wind technologies such as rotors, suction wings, sails, kites, and more can provide a large part of the power needs for new and existing cargo and passenger ships. Wind technologies are already available for use today and can combat CO2 emissions and air pollution, reduce the price gap between fossil fuelled ships and zero emission shipping, and reduce the investments and time needed for full decarbonisation of shipping.
Fuel savings of up to 25 per cent have ben achieved on ships retrofitted with wind technologies. Total fuel savings depend on ship size, type and speed, route and weather conditions etc., as well as type, size and number of wind technologies applied. For new ships where wind technologies are further developed and fully integrated and the ships are designed to use wind propulsion, fuel savings well above 30 per cent are to be expected.
A current issue for widespread roll out of wind technologies are market and non-market barriers (lack of information, conservative industry, business structure, focus on short term profit etc.). According to WASP, these are blocking the uptake of wind technologies.
The three-year WASP project is installing, testing and validating five installations of wind-assist technologies on five different commercially active vessels, two are currently in operation (Scandlines and Van Dam Shipping) and three more are nearing installation (Boomsma Shipping, Rord Braren, Tharsis Sea-river shipping).
Download the policy brief – Wind Technologies for Cleaner Shipping
Read more about the WASP project here.