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P. 62

wind propulsion








        Time to




        set sail!








        Gavin Allwright of the International

        Windship Association argues

        that the shipping industry should
        embrace the opportunities offered

        by the rapid developments in wind

        propulsion technology




             he shipping industry has some very   Threads’ of wind propulsion, then a hybrid
             challenging decisions to make over   propulsion pathway starts to take shape.
        Tthe next few years. We have a finite
        carbon budget available to shipping and   TODAY’S STRENGTHENING
        the selection of decarbonisation pathways   BREEZE ____________________
        and energy sources are many. At the higher
        ambition level (1.5oC of warming), that gives   There is a rapidly maturing foundation for the
        us eight years of business-as-usual emis-  development of commercial wind propulsion.
        sions in line with the Paris agreement. The   The main barriers in the past were: a lack of
        more relaxed but far riskier 2oC pushes that   standardisation for certifying, installing and
        out further but still vessels by the mid-2040s   validating the propulsive energy produced,
        will be operating in a net zero carbon situ-  materials and support technologies were lack-
        ation unless emissions draw down quickly   ing and there was a lack of demonstrator ves-
        soon, in other words during the lifetime of   sels in operation and a pipeline of projects and
        vessels being designed and built today.  technologies coming to market. Most of the
          We have limited time, so under the ‘Iron   large classification societies have now pub-
        Triangle’ rule, that leaves us quality and cost.   lished comprehensive wind-assist technology
        Compromising on quality (safety, robustness,   guidelines and there are a number of projects
        certified) is not an option so it comes to higher   working on standardising the prediction and
        cost. Or at least that is the usual choice, how-  validation process, including the ABS/MARIN
        ever there is an option that ultimately breaks   WiSP joint industry project and the EU funded
        this conundrum, an alternative fuel source   WASP project. Material science has also come
        that is abundant, available worldwide, uses   on leaps and bounds in the last decade ena-
        technology available today, delivered to the   bling lighter and more robust wind rigs to be
        point of use on the vessel at no cost for the   developed. All modern wind propulsion sys-
        lifetime of the vessel, and that is uniquely   tems are now highly automated, and the per-  Neoliner – soft sail system
        directly available to shipping, that is direct   formance and operations of rigs can even be
        wind energy. Looking at decarbonisation   monitored from shore. Further progress is
        through the lens of ‘Four Winds’, or the ‘Four   also underway in making wind more predict-










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