K LIne plans to install 50 more of the systems on its ships next year. Image Credit: IWSA
Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line) has joined industry group the International Windship Association (IWSA) as part if its latest efforts to push wind propulsion as a means of cutting its carbon footprint.
"[T]hey are sending a clear message to the industry and policy makers that wind propulsion is a credible, viable and increasingly attractive solution, especially as fuel prices bounce back," IWSA said in an emailed statement.
As reported last year, "K" Line is currently testing a SeaWing kite sail from Airbus spin-off AirSeas on one of its large bulk carriers. It has now signed an option for a further 50 installations for their fleet next year.
"Joining IWSA is a great opportunity for our company," Atsuo Asano, senior managing executive officer at K Line, said in the statement.
"Through IWSA activities, maritime stakeholders can create a big scrum, pushing together towards the uptake of direct wind power applications for commercial ships."
Interest in wind power has been growing for a number of years now as it is increasingly seen as a viable solution to help the industry meet its IMO 2030 and IMO 2050 GHG reduction targets.
With the long-term use of fossil bunker fuels seemingly untenable, but the replacement future marine fuel mix uncertain, a particular attraction of wind propulsion is it provides energy and emissions savings regardless of the fuel type or propulsion-power solution being used.
IWSA says wind propulsion systems retrofitted to ships as part of their energy mix can deliver 5-20% of the propulsive energy required by large vessels, while others claim is can be part of a wider suite of solutions delivering 80% energy savings.