Sail-powered cargo ship demonstrates the potential of wind energy


A cargo ship has successfully reduced its fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions by retrofitting giant, rigid sails, according to data from the shipping firm Cargill. The Pyxis Ocean tested British-designed WindWings for six months, showing the potential of wind to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. While experts find the results encouraging, they note that only a small portion of the international shipping fleet currently uses this technology. The sails, made of wind turbine blade material, can be folded down in port and stand at 123ft (37.5m) on the open seas. The ship, which sailed the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the North and South Atlantic, saved an average of three tonnes of fuel per day, equating to 11.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved daily. Cargill believes wind technology could play a crucial role in achieving decarbonization goals. BAR Technologies, the UK firm behind the wings, plans to fit more ships with three wings in the future to further reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Despite the positive results, the international shipping industry still has a long way to go in adopting wind-assisted technologies to combat climate change.

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