Sailing: Wind for Goods is raising awareness to help decarbonise maritime transport

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© Christian Robert / Ville de Saint-Nazaire

The Wind for Goods event, organised by the Nantes Saint-Nazaire Développement agency, took place in Atlantic France on the 1st and 2nd of June. The only international show dedicated to wind-powered maritime transport is aiming to become a benchmark event in the search for concrete solutions and innovations that contribute to the decarbonisation of maritime freight transport.

Maritime transport accounts for more than 80% of global merchandise trade. It is responsible for 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions and could reach 16% by 2050 if nothing is done. In order to reduce this environmental impact, industry players are developing innovative technologies to design more efficient and environmentally friendly vessels.

Innovative technologies for wind propulsion solutions

Since the first edition of Wind for Goods, last year, the sailing propulsion sector has experienced exponential growth. Companies such as Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique and the members of the association Wind Ship are innovating in the development of wind propulsion technologies, and public bodies are introducing more restrictive regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in shipping.

The second edition of the event was a great success, as shown by these key figures:

Key figures

50 exhibitors

400 companies

20+ countries represented

Our territory has all the assets to be at the forefront of this sector, and benefits from a rich ecosystem that creates jobs throughout the value chain, from research and innovation to industrialisation. As well as this, this event demonstrates how committed the Nantes Saint-Nazaire area is to improving the environmental impact of the entire maritime sector.

Johanna Rolland, Mayor of Nantes and President of Nantes Saint-Nazaire Développement

Atlantic France, a leader in sail propulsion

The region has demonstrated its commitment to the decarbonisation of maritime transport. With its historical know-how in sectors such as logistics, sailing, and shipbuilding, Atlantic France has managed to position itself at the forefront of innovation in this field and the regional council actively supports the development of these technologies.

A few days after the Wind for Goods event, Nantes Saint-Nazaire Développement and the Windship association released a study which was carried out by the consulting firm Forward Global. According to this document, up to 10,000 cargo ships could be fitted with sails by 2030 and up to 40,000 by 2050, representing 45% of the world’s fleet. In the case of existing ships (retrofitting), the addition of sails saves 5 to 20% of fuel, and in the case of new ships this rises to at least 30% and up to 80% if the main propulsion is wind.

The vision of greener shipping and the adoption of wind propulsion technologies offer a hopeful horizon for reducing CO2 emissions and preserving our planet, but also represents a promising economic sector: up to 15,000 jobs could be created in France by 2030, 50% of which could be based in Nantes Saint-Nazaire.

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