The term ‘wind energy’ in the context of this magazine naturally evokes images of on- and offshore wind installations.
Wind energy however is any energy generated by capturing the potential energy of air and using it in its kinetic form. Wind propulsion, kinetic energy captured by a sail, is therefore also covered by this designation. Wind assisted propulsion systems are technologies which reduce the CO2 emissions of ships.
A viable and cost-efficient alternative
Yet, performance experts counsel caution. Modern wind propelled shipping is in its infancy. Most vessels currently plying the seas are adapted to wind assistance or retrofits. The era of fully wind-driven ships is still a long way off. The momentum behind its development must not be allowed to falter since the 2020 FuelEU Maritime Initiative coming into force in 2025, compels all ships of 5000 GT or above to decrease the average GHG intensity of the energy they use by 75% of the base year 2020.
Could it be that the UK’s offshore wind sector is serviced by wind propelled vessels? It is more than a possibility.
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