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IWSA: 37 wind-powered and 11 wind-ready ships in operation

May 22 ------ In late March 2024, there were 37 wind propulsion-installed vessels along with eleven wind-ready ships which have a combined total of 2.5 million dwt, the International Windship Association (IWSA) revealed.


These are complemented by ten small traditionally rigged cruise vessels and dozens of small sail cargo and fisheries vessels. A critical mass of demonstrator ships is forming in the bulker, tanker, RoRo and general cargo segments, with developments in other ship segments accelerating, too. IWSA pointed out that the number of ships installed (including wind-ready units) with wind propulsion has effectively doubled in the twelve months to April 2024.


In the last twelve months to March 2024, there were 22 installations and wind-ready ships delivered compared to eight in the year before. As informed, four primary wind vessels of over 400GT have either entered or about to enter the fleet and two larger ships are under construction. According to IWSA, a far more varied collection of market stakeholders are showing interest in wind propulsion technology developments. Moreover, it can be seen that small fleet orders are being made, not only single ship deployments.


On the regulatory side, there is a growing acceptance in the IMO, the EU and among national governments that wind is a significant energy option for deployment in the global fleet. It is expected to be important in the delivery of the EU Fit for 55 and IMO 2023 GHG strategies.


Last year, IWSA issued an open letter to the to the Heads of State and delegates at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 28), urging them to recognize the vital role of direct wind propulsion in the decarbonization of the shipping sector. This appeal, aligned with recent UN targets for shipping emissions reduction, emphasizes the potential of wind energy and specifically calls for consideration and funding of an ‘SDG Delivery Fleet.’


Apart from green fuels, many shipowners are embracing alternative propulsion methods in the global decarbonization quest. Given that wind-assisted propulsion is a strong contender for significant emission reductions, regulatory bodies need to act faster, produce official rules and guidelines for wind-assisted propulsion systems and give wind propulsion the place it deserves.



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