DNV partners IWSA to support wind propulsion uptake

Classification society DNV has joined the International Windship Association with the intention of using the membership status to further support and accelerate the uptake of wind-assisted propulsion systems by the global shipping fleet.

In recent years, there has been a sharp uptake of wind propulsion systems for use on merchant ships. Currently, twenty-one large commercial vessel wind propulsion installations are in operation and that number will likely double over the next twelve months.

Interest in this technology sector is growing as the performance of wind propulsion technologies becomes increasingly proven. This is reflected in the expanding membership of the International Windship Association (IWSA), the not-for-profit organisation that facilitates and promotes wind propulsion for commercial shipping worldwide.

“We are delighted to welcome DNV into IWSA with full member status at such a pivotal intersection on the wind propelled shipping journey. They will bring a wealth of experience to the association which is imperative since classification societies play a critical role in supporting safety and new technology, including those for wind-powered or wind-assisted shipping,” Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of IWSA said.

Also, as installations increase the cost of systems is coming down and with sustained high fuel prices, the return on investment (ROI) for wind-harnessing technology is shrinking.

“Wind-assisted propulsion technologies can cut fuel costs and emissions at a time when the global shipping industry is faced with the need to rapidly decarbonise. The multiple mature technologies available today make wind a realistic and viable renewable energy choice that can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of cargo vessels,” according to DNV.

In one of its latest forecasts, DNV notes that with the fuel transition underway, the shipping industry will need massive onboard technology investments ranging between $8 to $28 billion per year between 2022 and 2050 to reach full net-zero goals.

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“Joining the IWSA as a full member positions DNV at the centre of technological, technical and political progressions in this fast-paced technology sector alongside their central role of offering technical certification and pre-certification services for ships using wind propulsion technology. This includes offering a new classification class notation for ships using Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems (WAPS),” the classification society emphasized.

To- date, DNV has awarded Class Approvals in Principle (AiP) to a number of WAPS on the market. It also provides advisory services to guide customers through assessing the safety, commercial, and technical suitability of WAPS and which systems are right for their business.

Recently, DNV signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korean shipbuilding major Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to develop wind assistance propulsion technology.

Under the MoU, DSME and DNV will jointly develop ship wind-assisted propulsion systems, including a rotor sail solution, fuel saving device technology, and will cooperate in promoting future-related businesses. The rotor sail system is seen as one of the next-generation eco-friendly technologies that use wind power to reduce ship fuel and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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According to Jukka Kuuskoski, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) at Norsepower Oy Ltd, there are 30,000 ships in operation worldwide that could be equipped with wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP) technology, and that number is growing.

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