A new study on the potential market for wind propulsion technologies has identified a multitude of barriers that are preventing its development.

Commissioned by DG Climate Action, the report said the barriers which stand out were, firstly - information on the performance, operability, safety, durability, and economic implications of the wind propulsion technologies.

Secondly, a lack of access to capital for the development of wind propulsion technologies, especially for building and testing of full scale demonstrators. As well as incentives to improve energy efficiency/reduce CO2 emissions of ships.

The study also identified different actions that can be taken once a standardized assessment method has been developed.

These actions aim at improving the generation of more information on the wind propulsion technologies, at improving the access to and value of this information, and at improving the access to capital for the development and testing of full scale demonstrators.

To determine the savings potentials, models have been developed for the different wind propulsion technologies. Each model has been used to determine the technologies’ power savings for six sample ships across AIS-recorded voyage profiles and for sample routes, differentiating two speed regimes respectively.

The study reported that if some wind propulsion technologies for ships reach marketability in 2020, the maximum market potential for bulk carriers, tankers and container vessels is estimated to add up to around 3,700–10,700 installed systems until 2030

Use of these wind propulsion systems would then lead to CO2 savings of around 3.5–7.5 Mt CO2 in 2030 and the wind propulsion sector would then be good for around 6,500–8,000 direct and around 8,500–10,000 indirect jobs.

The study has been jointly carried out by CE Delft, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Fraunhofer ISI, and Chalmers University of Technology.

By Alice Mason