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Cargill Helps Bring Wind Power to Commercial Shipping

Cargill announced its partnership with BAR Technologies and with naval architect, Deltamarin, to bring wind propulsion technology to commercial shipping. 

As the industry searches to find ways to meet 2030 and 2050 goals set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), innovative steps are necessary, but creative efforts are going to be what will get the industry to where it needs to be.  

Cargill is a major player in the maritime industry, making strides in finding, investing, and putting sustainable and renewable energy into practice. The project aims to use large, solid wing sails manufactured by BAR Technologies called WindWings. The WindWings measure up to 45 meters in height and would be fitted to the deck of bulk cargo ships to harness wind power and reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 30 percent. According to Cargill, they can be tailored to the vessel’s size and the route it will take. 

BAR Technologies was formed in 2016 and is a spin-off from a British Olympic and World Champion sailing team created by Sir Ben Ainslie. New and creative solutions are found through collaboration, especially when it takes place with a company outside the marine industry since their unique expertise gives them a fresh perspective. 

Changing regulations and fuel alternatives make “future-proofing” ships extremely difficult because ship owners can never be sure how long their ships will meet future regulations. Wind and solar assist, like battery power technology, combat this because they can be easily installed as “plug and play systems” that make present ships easier to retrofit and meet future regulations, allowing them to have longer lifespans on the seas. Using wind power, solar power, or a combination of both could become an extremely viable way of bringing down fuel consumption because they can be implemented right now. 

The maritime and shipping industry faces all sorts of challenges in the coming decades, but collaboration and investment in renewable energy sources can help the industry meet those challenges head-on. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how essential cooperation is in the industry since in-person communication is extremely limited or virtually nonexistent. That is why now, perhaps more than ever, collaboration is key to allowing companies and organizations to share ideas and develop unconventional ways of problem-solving quickly and effectively. Companies can work together to develop software that can help improve and streamline their own technology, make training easier for their crewsand find cleaner and more efficient energy sources. 

Our past can be key to protecting our future. Since the early days of shipping, ships have used sails. Now, digital technology combined with various energy sources can make wind power more potent than ever, making it cost-effective, practical, clean and a viable choice for our future. 

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