In this respect, a year long study started to examine the possibility of using sail technology to an Ultrabulk ship importing biomass into the UK for Drax, to provide renewable electricity. The study aims to come up with cost-effective ways to cut emissions from the shipping industry.

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In fact, electric vessels with energy storage in batteries and optimized power control can provide significant reductions in fuel consumption, maintenance and emissions.

The first six months of the study will give emphasis on analyzing the technical feasibility of the project and setting out the engineering parameters for the sail technology to ships.

The next six months will focus on calculating costs for the project and building the business case. Based on the results of the study, the launch of the Commercial Demonstrator could be as soon as 2021.

The SGSA is focusing on promoting the uptake of renewable energy in the maritime industry since 2014. It notes that wind power would be the first choice of exploration. The long-term aim is to establish viable, zero-emission vessels, while also combining renewable energy from wind power with bio-fuels.