GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN – Since coming under increasing pressure to decarbonize, by both its international regulator and its climate-conscious customers, the international shipping industry has started seriously considering, and making investments in, technology that enables the exploitation of clean and free renewable wind energy.

However, for any vessel using several power sources, optimization of how they are combined will be crucial. To maintain the optimal speed or power and minimize energy waste, the complete integration between existing conventional and wind-assisted propulsion system is required in order to avoid the addition of excessive propulsion power.

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, setting out a vision that confirms its commitment to reducing harmful emissions from international shipping and to phasing them out as soon as possible.

More recently, IMO has forged ahead with the development of new short-term measures: the attained and required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), and the annual operational Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and CII rating. In response, ship owners and operators have started to evaluate their existing fleet and seek out short- to mid-term solutions that decrease carbon intensity and emissions.

Advanced clean technologies such as wind-assisted propulsion solutions as well as fuel saving technologies, including propulsion automation systems, are already available. These technologies can support the global shipping fleet to accelerate rapid emission reductions.

To address optimizing wind-assisted propulsion through automation, Lean Marine and Smart Green Shipping will host a virtual industry seminar on March 23. Discussions will focus on real-industry applications and technologies in addition to exploring the building of a “real” hybrid solution between wind-assisted technology and the existing propulsion system.

Three speakers dedicated to getting the shipping industry to zero carbon operations will provide their expert views and participate in an interactive panel discussion: Florent Violain, President of Association Wind-Ship in France; Diane Gilpin, Founder and CEO of Smart Green Shipping; and Sarah Zitouni, Regional Sales Manager at Lean Marine. The Secretary General of the International Windship Association, Gavin Allwright, will moderate the virtual seminar.

Florent Violain will introduce the perception of wind-assisted ship operations and the role of wind power in the future of shipping. Diane Gilpin will present Smart Green Shipping Alliance’s fully automated sail technology FastRigs and its integration on a retrofit vessel. Sarah Zitouni will present Lean Marine’s propulsion automation system FuelOpt™ and its role in integrating wind-assisted and existing conventional propulsion system.

Florent Violain, President of Association Wind-Ship in France, said, “When it comes to shipping, wind has been the most evident power for centuries and it is emission-free. To achieve immediate significant emission reductions, the momentum of wind-ship sector must accelerate within this decade.”

Diane Gilpin, Founder and CEO of Smart Green Shipping, said, “Wind is abundant, free and exclusively available to ships equipped to use it. Modern wind-assisted solutions are very advanced and optimized to complement 21st century ships, the industry can benefit now from clean, close-to-market wind technologies. We can use these technologies together with existing engines and conventional propulsion in a smart and integrated way and start driving down emissions immediately.”

Gavin Allwright, Secretary General, IWSA, said, “Pressure to swiftly decarbonize international shipping is growing from all sides. The rollout of new low carbon fuel systems will take considerable time and resources. Wind gives us the unique opportunity to deliver up to a third of the fleet’s propulsion energy requirements without the need for new infrastructure, right now.”

Sarah Zitouni, Regional Sales Manager at Lean Marine, said, “A large part of the existing global fleet will continue operating next decades, hence upgrading retrofits cannot be avoided to reach de-carbonization targets. When it comes to combining wind-assisted and conventional propulsion systems, the integration should be ideally automated to assure the energy gained by the clean and emission-free wind power is not consumed by unoptimized conventional propulsion system. We must consume clean energy but still less energy.”

The “Maximizing the power of wind-assisted propulsion” virtual seminar will be held on Tuesday March 23 at 09:00 GMT/10.00 CET/17.00 SGT. To register, visit: