Funding from Interreg North Sea Europe programme. Image Credit: Interreg North Sea Europe
Europe has approved and launched the WASP (Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion) project with €5.4 million ($6 million) of funding from the Interreg North Sea Europe programme, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The project brings together universities, wind-assist technology providers and ship owners to research, trial and validate various wind propulsion technologies.
"We're delighted to be able to commence the WASP project and we are thrilled and looking forward to being able to test the wind propulsion systems on different types of vessels, routes and sea conditions throughout the project duration thanks to Interreg's support and the efforts of all the project partners," said Danitsja van Heusden-van Winden, Netherlands Maritime Technology Foundation and WASP project lead beneficiary.
Interest in wind propulsion technologies has jumped this year as part of the wider growth in interest for solutions to reducing the shipping industry's GHG and overall emissions footprint.
"Wind propulsion solutions are a very important technology segment for the decarbonisation of shipping. The propulsive energy provided is substantial and this is delivered directly to the ship with no need for new infrastructure," said Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of the International Windship Association.
"That secures a significant portion of ship owners fuel requirement at zero cost, creating an element of certainty in a volatile and increasingly insecure market in the future."