"No Denying" Renewable Energy is the Future of Vessel Propulsion: Norsepower CEO

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday May 20, 2016

Tuomas Riski, CEO at Norsepower Oy (Norsepower), says there is "no denying" that propulsion powered by renewable energy sources is the future of the maritime industry, Cruise & Ferry reports.

"We are proud to be the first company to use renewable energy on a large commercial vessel while it is in motion," added Riski, noting that data collected from the 9,700 DWT ro-ro carrier MS Estraden, when equipped with two of Norsepower's smaller rotor sails, demonstrated a 6.1 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Further, Riski says that data collected for over 18 months shows that, on windy routes, bunker savings from Norsepower's Rotor Sail Solution can be as much as 20 percent per year.

"With Norsepower's rotor sails, the main engines can be throttled back, provided that wind conditions are favourable. This not only reduces fuel consumption and emissions, but it also provides the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time."

Norsepower is said to be looking to develop larger rotor sails as it achieves commercial expansion, a development that the company says will mean even more fuel savings.

"What is very exciting for us is that our technology has received interest from the cruise and ferry market, and it is highly feasible that our rotor sails will be installed on a few newbuild vessels in the near future," said Riski.

Encouraging Uptake of Wind Propulsion

Norsepower is one of a number of players within the maritime industry looking to encourage the adoption of wind technologies for propulsion and fuel efficacy.

On Thursday, International Windship Association (IWSA) announced that Dagmar Nelissen, Senior researcher and consultant at CE Delft, at the Natural Propulsion Seminar on May 24, will present the European Union's preliminary findings of the DG Clima study, "Analysis of market potentials and market barriers for wind propulsion technologies for ships."

As Ship & Bunker previously reported, the Natural Propulsion Seminar will be held as part of BlueWeek, a free and independent event, which is hosted by the Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN), and is intended to bring together industry, academics, and institutions to discuss the latest R&D initiatives, regulations, and projects.

"The CO2 abatement measures available to the shipping industry are pivotal when it comes to estimating the costs of alternative political measures and examining policy options," said Nelissen.

Giovanni Bordogna and Nico van der Kolk from the Ship Hydromechanics Laboratory at Delft University of Technology will also be presenting at the seminar, discussing the importance of accurate performance prediction and assessment of the aerodynamics and hydrodynamics in wind-assisted ships.

"A physically sound performance prediction is a necessary prerequisite for any environmental or economic evaluation of wind-assist concepts," said Bordogna and van der Kolk.

In March, a study published by the energy institute at the University College London (UCL) and environmental think-tank the Carbon War Room, suggested that wind power technology can help older, less-efficient ships to operate competitively with newer, more efficient ships.