The decarbonization drive is gearing up to be the defining issue faced by the shipping sector in the coming decades and the industry is searching for low carbon and zero emissions technologies that will deliver on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) initial strategy of reducing emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
One family of technologies that is seeing an upsurge of interest in the industry is wind-assist and primary wind propulsion solutions. Today the Paris headquartered classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) announced that it is joining the International Windship Association (IWSA), the not-for-profit organization that for the last 5 years has been bringing together wind propulsion projects, research organisations and projects and promoting the wind as a credible, viable and increasingly economic option for commercial vessels.
BV’s membership will bring a wealth of experience to IWSA and fits well with the association’s longer term development approach, with the establishment of regional wind propulsion ‘centers of excellence’ or ‘hubs’ around the world. The first one, IWSA Europe – Atlantic, was set up over a year ago in Nantes, France and has been busy clustering together wind propulsion projects, ship builders, engineering and design companies along with maritime associations and regional government. This will be followed this year with clusters in the North Sea & Baltic, Pacific and North America. Nantes is an important center for BV, where it has a presence focused on providing engineering services through Bureau Veritas Solutions.
There have already been big strides forward over the last couple of years, with the emergence of companies engaging, testing and installing wind propulsion systems; Maersk, Renault, MOL, Airbus, Viking Lines, Drax, Ultrabulk, Chantiers De L’Atlantique, Wallenius Marine, Fehn, CMCS, Enercon, Blue Planet Shipping are just some of the names involved.
This pace of development is slated to continue, with an EU commissioned report on the wind propulsion market in 2017 predicting up to over 10,000 wind propulsion installations by 2030.
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