International regulations on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as strong market demand for zero-emission transport calls for a radical change in the shipping industry. Measures such as hull form optimization, use of alternative fuels and efficient machinery systems, new coatings, and smart routing have already improved the energy efficiency of the world fleet and to some extent its GHG emissions. However, it is far from enough. To make the drastic leap that we need in order to meet the climate challenges, we must turn to emission-free energy sources. One such promising and well-proven zero-emission propulsion system for shipping is wind propulsion. Using wind to power cargo vessels restarted on a commercial scale about a decade ago. Currently, there are 25+ wind-assisted vessels in commercial trade. They are equipped with technologies like Flettner rotors, wings or kites, which gives fuel reductions in the magnitude of 1-20 %. Although these are significant fuel savings, this is still not enough to effectively respond to the challenges for zero GHG emissions of the maritime industry. With the goal of demonstrating that even higher energy reduction and drastic reduction of emissions is possible, 11 representatives of the European maritime industry and research community have recently joined forces in the large scale EU-funded project Orcelle, led by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean. The current paper will present the project’s ambition, scope of work and expected outcome.

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