Return to sail: business opportunity (file image/pixabay)
Shipping should wholeheartedly embrace sail as a way to reduce the industry's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, a veteran shipping executive has said.
Andrew Craig-Bennett expressed his views in an opinion piece for maritime news provider Splash247.
Craig-Bennett suggests that going for zero-emissions from shipping by 2035, which is the Marshall Islands proposal to the International Maritime Organisation, is doable.
"Seventeen years is long enough to pay down and scrap all existing ships and replace them with something else," Craig-Bennett wrote.
Nuclear is costly while solar has technical limitations leaving wind power as the most viable method. Craig-Bennett argues that the industry could make serious money by riding the wave of a disruptive technology.
"I am not talking about the Romance of Sail; I am talking about making serious money in proper shipowning."
Under sail, vessel speed would drop while port operations would adapt in a changed logistics chain.
That would kickstart a "freight boom that will make 2004-8 seem trivial", Craig-Bennett wrote.
Sail power is one area of innovation among myriad technologies promising to reduce shipping's carbon footprint.
Among the sail technologies on offer are rotor sails, wingsails and kites.