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Gavin Allwright, secretary at the International Windship Association, has seen a lot of speculation and discussion around the costs and time lag for the roll out of decarbonisation for commercial shipping.

The below, he concedes, is a no doubt flawed but honest attempt to show how the rapid scaling of wind propulsion across the fleet in the next 10 years would effectively not only pay for itself, but could go a very long way to releasing the funds required to go beyond IMO 2050 and even deliver full decarbonisation for the fleet.

By installing substantial wind propulsion systems across the 60,000 large vessel fleet this decade and subsequent replacement vessels using wind propulsion systems as standard, the reduction in fuel use prior to 2050 would be equal to the amount being forecast that is required to not just meet the IMO2050 target of 50% reduction, but potentially cover the entire decarbonisation ticket price.

The conclusion, rapid deployment of wind propulsion this decade along with the replacement of vessels with enhanced wind vessels in the coming decades would release the resources available to shipping to invest in the transition to full decarbonisation.

As a final note, we need to remember that wind propulsion is the gift that keeps giving as all of these wind propulsion systems will continue to deliver savings throughout the lifetime of the vessels, and while the price of alternative fuels will likely eventually fall, the use of an abundant energy source, delivered to the vessel at the point of use with no need for infrastructure, onboard storage all at a fixed zero cost, that will be very unlikely to lose its economic draw.


Photo credits: Windship Technology