A Review Of Wind-Assisted Ship Propulsion For Sustainable Commercial Shipping: Latest Developments And Future Stakes

Lukman Khan, Joseph Macklin, Benjamin Peck, Owen Morton, Jean-Baptiste R. G. Souppez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


With the current global warming crisis and contemporary concerns for sustainability, the transport industry is developing and implementing novel solutions to reduce greenhouse gases. With close to 90% of the world’s goods relying on maritime transportation, responsible for 3% of global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2019, there is a vital emphasis on reducing emissions. The latest legislation from the International Maritime Organisation has imposed even tougher sulphur oxide targets. On the other hand, emission intensity for CO2 will need to be decreased by 70% in 2050, compared to 2008 figures. While operating measures and fuel alternatives are suitable in the short-term to meet these novel regulatory constraints, as the use of fossil fuels tapers off, the long-terms solution appears to reside in wind-assisted ships. Consequently, this study aims to identify viable solutions that could reduce emissions, focusing on three prominent technologies, namely sails, rotors and kites. Furthermore, this review provides guidance on the benefits and risks associated with each technology and recommends guidelines for performance prediction and associated constraints. Ultimately, future stakes in wind-assisted propulsion are highlighted, including the need for full-scale validation, the challenge in assessing environmental and economic impact, and the structural issues associated with wind-assisted propulsion systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Wind Propulsion Conference 2021
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Institution of Naval Architects
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2021
EventWind Propulsion Conference - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Sept 202116 Sept 2021


ConferenceWind Propulsion Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors


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