Wind-powered ships set to blow into SMM 2022 in full force

30 August, 22

Technology solutions that enable cargo ship operators to harness the power of the wind as a renewable energy source will have a larger footprint than ever before at the SMM trade fair in Hamburg next week. A status welcomed by the International Windship Association (IWSA).

Wind propulsion technology offers one of the most promising contributions towards the realisation of a sustainable shipping fleet. Available solutions enable ship operators to exploit an emission-free energy source that is delivered directly to the ship while it is at sea.

In recent years, the performance of wind propulsion technology has been strengthening. Installation costs are decreasing as the number of installations increase, and ROI (return on investment) is shrinking thanks to high fuel prices.

Interest in wind propulsion has greatly intensified over the past twelve months as the benefits of wind propulsion technology, and the significant emissions reduction potential it can deliver are progressively recognised. This year, new projects and installations, order confirmations, and the forging of new partnerships have been confirmed by IWSA’s 150+ members and supporters every week. Currently twenty-one large vessel wind propulsion installations are in operation and that number will likely double in the coming twelve months.

IWSA Secretary General, Gavin Allwright, says: “This edition of the SMM trade fair presents us with the perfect opportunity to get up to speed with the latest wind propulsion technology and market developments. I urge anyone attending to visit the stands of the many wind propulsion technology developers, R&D centres, suppliers, and class societies exhibiting. Also, to attend one of the many events taking place on what we are calling ‘Wind-Powered Wednesday’ on September 7.”

IWSA is an official supporter of SMM and a total of twenty-five IWSA members will be exhibiting at the fair. To help visitors navigate their way around the exhibition halls, IWSA has produced an ‘unofficial’ wind propulsion route that maps out the exhibition stand locations of all wind propulsion technology developers, any shipping companies showcasing their use of wind propulsion technologies, and any companies taking action on prospering wind propulsion in the industry. The SMM wind propulsion route map can be downloaded here:

In addition to the vast number of wind propulsion technologies and projects on display in the exhibition halls, wind propulsion will have a large presence in the conference halls at SMM on Wednesday September 7, affording attendees of the trade fair with multiple opportunities to listen to experts from this fast developing technology sector.

IWSA Secretary General, Gavin Allwright will speak at the GMEC Conference on September 7 at 14.45 in the session “Wind propulsion – The time is now” alongside Prof Dr Orestis Schinas from HHX. Blue, Johan Boomsma from Boomsma Shipping, Cristina Aleixendri from bound4blue and Britta Schulz from Bureau Veritas.

The EU-Interreg North Sea Region project, ‘WASP: Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion’ will convene ship owners, wind propulsion technology developers and academia for their 2022 conference on the same day in the Copenhagen room between 10.00 and 17.00. Participants of this conference will hear from the providers of the rotor sails and suction wings installed on five commercial ships for the purpose of third-party validations. Econowind, EcoFlettner and Norsepower will provide their insights, preliminary results and discuss lessons learned from the project.

Finally, the Green Transition Stage (Hall A4) will host two wind propulsion talks on September 7. Lieberherr’s ‘Wind-assisted propulsion: harness the wind’ talk will take place at 10.45-10.55 followed by AYRO’s take on ‘what are the challenges for maritime transportation, and how wind propulsion is the answer to significantly reduce carbon emissions’ at 11:40-11:50.

“The resounding message here is that wind propulsion is a ‘now’ solution to a very ‘immediate’ problem,” Allwright says. “This technology is going onboard ships today and saving ship operators significant amounts of fuel. It is a credible, viable and increasingly economic decarbonisation solution for shipping. Join us at SMM, it’s going to be the best edition yet for wind-powered ships,” he concludes.

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