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April 20, 2021 37 min

Every cause needs its evangelists and the International WindShip Association has been spreading the gospel of wind propulsion since 2014.  As the Secretary General of the Association, it’s up to Gavin Allwright to keep wind propulsion top of mind for commercial ship owners, policy makers and regulators.

The journey to become a leader in advocacy was not smooth sailing, but today, the IWSA’s 130+ membership is taking IMO’s 2030 goals a step further by declaring the years 2021-2030 as the “Decade of Wind Propulsion”, an era of delivering wind propulsion installations, optimizing the technology solutions and helping to facilitate a quicker, deeper and ultimately cheaper transition to a fully decarbonized fleet.  

At the heart of our conversation, Gavin presents the motivations and objectives behind the IWSA’s March 24th open letter to the global shipping industry.  We paraphrase the key points here…..

1. Establish a Multi-Stakeholder International Working Group to evaluate and quantify wind propulsion’s potential  contribution to decarbonize the global fleet in the face of the climate emergency. Promote a hybrid approach to decarbonization with wind propulsion fully integrated with optimization measures along with eco-fuels. 

2. Launch a Comprehensive Strategic Review of shipping industry decarbonization efforts in the context of the climate  emergency. The review should quantify all externalities including  infrastructure development and production costs of all alternative propulsion systems and fuels along with their direct  and indirect climate impacts.  

3. Ensure a ‘level playing field’ is created and maintained for all power systems, removal of market and non-market barriers  as well as fair and balanced allocation of R&D finances and resources in the future. 

4. Do more and go beyond the current narrow fuel-centric approach by adopting a fully integrated alternative propulsion  approach to decarbonization pathways and policy. 

Our biggest takeaway from Gavin is a quote he made toward the end of the interview.  He simply asserted “We really can’t be ignoring such an incredibly important energy source that is uniquely available for shipping.” 

We could not have said it better ourselves. 

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