WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Carbon War Room (CWR) - co-founded by Sir Richard Branson to advance a low-carbon economy - and the University College London (UCL) Energy Institute, have launched a programme to help implement new carbon reduction technology.
Dubbed the Shipping Innovation Fast-Tracker (ShIFT), the two organisations plan to match companies that are ready to take their product to market with shipowners and investors.
According to the CWR, clean technologies have been available in the shipping industry for many years and have the potential to deliver more than 10 percent fuel and emissions savings. However, they remain sub-scale or even un-used due to a few key market barriers such as access to capital, lack of information, hidden costs, and risks that are associated with new clean technologies.
To address these barriers, ShIFT will match innovative technology companies, shipowners, operators and investors to boost the profile of low-carbon opportunities and promote investment in the industry.
"I am excited by the very real prospect of ships that are propelled and powered by wind, air bubble systems, and other ground-breaking technologies," said Peter Boyd, CWR's chief operating officer. "While we are focused on how to scale more mature technologies like propeller boss cap fins and Mewis (power saving) ducts through greater access to capital, these technologies offering double-digit savings have the potential to deliver significant gains, which can only be achieved with greater transparency and collaboration."
Boyd said ShIFT's emphasis will be on commercial application of already-proven technology such as a mechanical sail for cargo ships by Bermuda-based Magnuss Ltd. The company's vertically-variable ocean sail system (pictured left) is projected to reduce fuel savings 20-35 percent by enabling a ship's main engine to be throttled back while still maintaining voyage speed. The Magnuss patented technology is now approved by Lloyd's Register.
[The] "UCL Energy Institute is dedicated to generating new knowledge that can help solve society's climate change-related challenges, and a crucial part of that involves working with partners in order to implement that knowledge," added Dr. Tristan Smith of the UCL Energy Institute. "This project, which builds on our existing strong relationship with Carbon War Room, is an exciting application of our research to shipping's substantial de-carbonization challenge."