During the 2022 GREEN4SEA Forum, Gavin Allwright, Secretary General, International Windship Association (IWSA), talked about the application of wind power in the shipping industry, presenting market forecasts and the pipelines status towards industry’s journey to decarbonization.
ith regards to wind propulsion, things have been growing quite significantly in 2021 and into early 2022, there has been a lot of momentum growing. In particular, international media highlighted the fact that wind propulsion was an emerging technology segment that will attract more attention from 2022 and onwards.
Wind propulsion has entered the discussions into the decarbonization pathway, ICS has noted. The IWSA itself has granted full consultative status at the IMO and have seen many historic moments; IWSA has been growing including more than 130 active members around the world at the moment. Therefore, we have seen significant growth in membership but also more importantly,in the collaboration between those members and the numbers of projects that have been developed as well as many installations of wind propulsion onboard.
When we talk about direct application of wind power, it means for the retrofits, 5-20% of the propulsive energy delivered to a vessel can bring up to 30% carbon emissions reduction. However, optimized newbulids can bring 50-80% with operational changes on particular windy routes.
As an energy source, wind energy has zero emissions, zero cost, zero volatility, zero infrastructure and zero storage. Also, when it comes to related technology, this entails zero development time, zero compatibility issues, zero additional crew. Specifically, wind power doesn’t need to be mined, refined, transported, bunkered or stored on the vessel- it is directly delivered on it.
With regards to cost, wind is a free energy source; it really starts to de-risk future fuel price instability and insecurity. Thus, locking in and creating certainty in a very uncertain world, wind gives a huge advantage. Also wind propulsion is compatible with every other choice operators may make around fuels.
Furthermore, these systems are highly automated and will increasingly be integrated into the ships Environmental Management Systems. There is a big question though, what happens with CAPEX.Some systems/ models are being developed so as to actually lease the equipment rather than having a heavy CAPEX; and this is shifted to OPEX. Therefore, the wind propulsion technologies make a win win situation for ship operators.
The shipping decarbonization challenge
There are four segments around the ‘hybrid W.A.V.E.’ approach to decarbonization, as we call it – W stands for Wind, A for Activity, V for Vessel and E for Eco-Fuel. If you miss one of these, you are missing huge potential to decarbonize quickly using the technologies today. Each of these segments in the W.A.V.E. could deliver around 20% if they are integrated in. The macro approach reveals that these four segments are critical to urgent and deep decarbonization happening this decade.
Currently, we are waiting for EEXI and CII to come into force, but they will become extremely important in the 2024-2025 aspect. Then we have the CII Phase II, probably ratcheting up the amount of decarbonization that’s required. We also have initiatives coming from the industry around the Poseidon Principles and Sea Cargo Charter. Possibly the IMRF fund, carbon levies coming in the EU ETS etc.
All of these are creating a major push towards an acceleration of decarbonization pathway. There are working around the same pathway that the EU has estimated for wind installations being taken up. Around 10,000 by 2030, while we all see a significant uptake. If we had double of wind propulsion installations each year from now on, that would actually acheive the 10,000 installation level pushing that up to 50,000 in 2050.
Today, there are 18 ocean going vessels with wind- assist systems, installed by end of 2021, plus one wind-ready and more than 20 small sail cargo, fisheries and cruise vessels in operation but not any container ships yet. A number of AiPs have been granted for new build containers though while kites could be applicable as retrofits on existing container vessels. The pipeline is strengthening, we actually have around 14 vessels that have already been announced as retrofits and new builds coming through and couple of new builds are already underway. So, we can see, probably by the end of 2022 or Q1/Q2 2023, to double significantly the amount of vessels that are in operation.
But how would all these fit in on a macro level? Could wind propulsion fund the decarbonization transition of the fleet? Last year, we presented a case study, using very conservative fuel prices, 500$ per ton of fuel, as averaged out in the 2020. We are obviously substantially above, however, if we look at wind propulsion being rolled out significantly, the cost for that would be around 200-300 billions.More for larger ships and cheaper for smaller ships but averaging out around 20% delivery of propulsive energy. That includes both new builds and retrofits.
In essence, that would actually deliver enough finance or enough fuel saved over the next three decades, to deliver one trillion in savings. That’s what the UMAS and ICCT report has estimated would be the cost of implementing IMO 2050 and indeed, if these prices increase, it would probably be able to deliver the complete cost of decarbonizing shipping.
Therefore, it covers its own cost and the cost of all the new fuels coming through. This is on a macro level and these are basic numbers, but we can get the idea that wind propulsion can really facilitate the decarbonization of the fleet not only as a standalone option but also as a facilitator for others. In conclusion, we are talking about a ‘win-win-WIND- situation of all stakeholders!
Above article is a transcript text of Mr. Allwright’s presentation during 2022 GREEN4SEA Forum.
The views presented are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.