As the shipping industry faces pressure to cut climate-altering greenhouse gases, one answer is blowing in the wind.

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology on the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, at Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the first such installation on a tanker as the shipping industry tries new solutions in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  The Maersk Pelican oil tanker is testing Norsepower’s 30 meter (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns, which convert wind into thrust based on an idea first floated nearly a century ago.  Transport’s contribution to earth-warming emissions are the subject of investigations as negotiators gather in Katowice, Poland, for U.N. COP24 climate talks. (Casper Hariot/Maersk Tankers via AP)
Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology on the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, at Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the first such installation on a tanker as the shipping industry tries new solutions in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Maersk Pelican oil tanker is testing Norsepower’s 30 meter (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns, which convert wind into thrust based on an idea first floated nearly a century ago. Transport’s contribution to earth-warming emissions are the subject of investigations as negotiators gather in Katowice, Poland, for U.N. COP24 climate talks. (Casper Hariot/Maersk Tankers via AP)

European and U.S. tech companies, including one backed by airplane maker Airbus, are pitching futuristic sails to help cargo ships harness the free and endless supply of wind power. While they sometimes don’t even look like sails — some are shaped like spinning columns — they represent a cheap and reliable way to reduce CO2 emissions for an industry that depends on a particularly dirty form of fossil fuels.

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology onto the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the first such installation on a tanker as the shipping industry tries new solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  The Maersk Pelican oil tanker is testing Norsepower’s 30 meter (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns, which convert wind into thrust.  Transport’s contribution to earth-warming emissions are the subject of investigations as negotiators gather in Katowice, Poland, for U.N. COP24 climate talks. (Casper Hariot/Maersk Tankers via AP)
Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology onto the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the first such installation on a tanker as the shipping industry tries new solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Maersk Pelican oil tanker is testing Norsepower’s 30 meter (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns, which convert wind into thrust. Transport’s contribution to earth-warming emissions are the subject of investigations as negotiators gather in Katowice, Poland, for U.N. COP24 climate talks. (Casper Hariot/Maersk Tankers via AP)
Tuomas Risk, CEO of Finnish startup company Norsepower, poses Nov. 2016, in the North Sea, in front of one of his company’s rotor sails, one of the new technologies the shipping industry is looking at as it searches for new solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change.  The Maersk Pelican oil tanker is testing Norsepower’s 30 meter (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns, which convert wind into thrust based on an idea first floated nearly a century ago.  Transport’s contribution to earth-warming emissions are the subject of investigations as negotiators gather in Katowice, Poland, for U.N. COP24 climate talks. (Norsepower via AP)
Tuomas Risk, CEO of Finnish startup company Norsepower, poses Nov. 2016, in the North Sea, in front of one of his company’s rotor sails, one of the new technologies the shipping industry is looking at as it searches for new solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. The Maersk Pelican oil tanker is testing Norsepower’s 30 meter (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns, which convert wind into thrust based on an idea first floated nearly a century ago. Transport’s contribution to earth-warming emissions are the subject of investigations as negotiators gather in Katowice, Poland, for U.N. COP24 climate talks. (Norsepower via AP)

“It’s an old technology,” said Tuomas Riski, the CEO of Finland’s Norsepower, which added its “rotor sail” technology for the first time to a tanker in August. “Our vision is that sails are coming back to the seas.”

Source: The Associated Press