Save the earth, put sails on container ships, says green entrepreneur

Green startup wants to put sails on container ships

From the “never let a good crisis go to waste” files: green entrepreneurs see the COVID19 catastrophe as an opportunity to remake the world of cargo shipping — without fossil fuels. 

According to a report in Offshore Energy, green business woman Cristina Aliexendri told an event hosted by the International Maritime Trade Fair, SMM, that, “The coronavirus could be the driving force enabling us to achieve decarbonization goals even before 2050.” 

Ironically, the SMM trade show in Hamburg has been cancelled until February 2021 because of — you guessed it — the “driving force” of the coronavirus. 

Aliexendri has a good reason to push for this drastic green transition in shipping: money.

Add sails (but you still need fossil fuels)

Aliexendri’s start-up, bound4blue, developed a “smart sail” foldable system called “Wingsail”  which would act as a complimentary propulsion system alongside conventional fossil fuels. Translation: her low carbon option still needs fossil fuel backup to work, like all green ideas do. 

There was a voice expressing doubt about Aliexendri’s plan. “Diesel is wonderful stuff and replacing it is not going to be easy,” remarked Martin Stopford, President of Clarkson Research during the advance press conference for the SMM event. 

“Green energy” needs a back-up

Supply chains need reliable cheap energy, especially in times of crisis. Farmers and truckers relying on readily available fossil fuels to keep the store shelves stocked as the world waits out the coronavirus shutdown; if they happen to be powered by solar, ventilators will only work during the day.  

And Aliexandri’s avocado toast won't survive the high seas in a sailboat.