At the 4th Natural Propulsion seminar in the Netherlands this past April – which featured a talk by our a dear friend of GMT Gavin Allwright, Secretary of the IWSA! – Lloyd’s Register representative Dimitris Argyros spoke of the recent report that LR has made in highlighting the challenges that wind-powered commercial shipping faces today. Chief among these challenges are: (1) Adapting the wind-powered technologies that are so popular in the racing yacht sector to the merchant shipping sector; (2) dramatic decreases in fuel prices that make oil-powered shipping economically attractive; (3) lack of knowledge/education/interest in making such a dramatic and unknown change, among others.
In order to create a realistic investment for wind-powered shipping in the future of commercial transport, Lloyd’s Register recommends that solutions be concentrated on industry structure, perception and education on economic values, technology transfer, and operational/technical needs.
You can read more about the debate over wind-powered shipping here: http://www.lr.org/en/marine/technology-and-innovation/technology/windpoweredshipping.aspx