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International Wind Propulsion for Shipping forum held in Copenhagen

23 Mar 2020

The International Windship Association (IWSA) on Friday (20 March) said it has successfully held the International Wind Propulsion for Shipping forum as part of the Green Ship Technology conference in Copenhagen.

The event brought together a diverse group of technology providers, class, research organisations, shipowners and wind propulsion specialists, it said.

“A large number of projects are under development and increasingly coming to market, one that has been estimated by the EU at up to 10,700 installations by 2030 on bulkers, tankers and container ships with the UK Clean Maritime Plan forecasting this to grow to a £2billion a year market in the 2050s,” said Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of IWSA in the opening proceedings.

Christian Baekmark Schiolborg, Manager of Maritime Technology and Regulation at BIMCO took the opportunity to emphasise the need to explore all avenues of technology development. 

Schiolborg noted that a basket of solutions will be required to reach the industry decarbonisation targets and that wind propulsion will be a significant contributor to that decarbonisation process. 

Throughout the proceedings, IWSA noted panellists and participants emphasising of work still  to be done, as the technology challenges are being systematically met in collaboration with testing facilities such as MARIN, SSPA and HSVA, the technology providers, shipowners and class.

IWSA said it has heard from both ClassNK and DNV-GL that their newly launched guidelines are a clear indication that wind propulsion systems are attracting significant interest and require more standardised procedures for installation, operations and assessments of safety etc.

The event also saw finance and shipowner sessions discussing key fundamentals required to further accelerate the adoption of automation technology. These included the need to reduce risks and financially support early adopters in the sector. 

Maersk Tankers and Van Dam Shipping concurred such a move is vital for successful installations and used the Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project to illustrate such an implementation – where a 3-year trial programme in the EU Interreg 5B North Sea Region was subsidised to deliver five vessels outfitted with a number of wind technology installations.

Technology providers including Norsepower, eConowind, Wind+Wing Technologies, Airseas and AYRO all provided clear insights into the financing pathways available and felt that there were few scaling issues for the technology, said IWSA.

The use of innovative ‘pay-as-you-save’ funding platforms was introduced by HHx Blue and discussions around the use of leasing and even rental of wind propulsion units was an intriguing insight into the future of the sector. 

The need for robust business models for wind propulsion uptake was also taken up by Kühne Logistics University with considerable resources going into the analysis of those currently underway.

The remainder of the panels held discussions on the potential of wind propulsion technology for smaller vessels to make them more competitive for boosting the economy of smaller islands.

Finally, IWSA called for all stakeholders to set their course towards developing wind propulsion technologies to be robust and position them to be readily available over the next decade.

Photo credit: International Windship Association (IWSA)
Published: 23 March, 2020

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