Solbian collaborates to WHISPER, an energy transition project that will receive 9,2 million EUR in funding from Horizon Europe. The goal of the project is to develop a solution that can significantly reduce emissions from the long-distance maritime industry, which is responsible for around 2.5% of the world‘s total CO₂ emissions. WHISPER aims to demonstrate around 30% fuel savings on a retrofit bulk carrier and more than 15% on a retrofit containership.
A strong and diverse consortium of experts from across Europe will develop a fully modular retrofit solution, comprising a wind-solar hybrid power system to significantly reduce auxiliary engine emissions and a tilting wing sail system to provide wind-assisted propulsion, significantly reducing main engine fuel consumption and emissions.
Luca Bonci, Solbian CEO, says: “Solbian is firmly committed to spreading the utilization of solar energy on cargo ships. After years of experience in creating solar solutions for any kind of vessel, from small sailboats to ferries, we trust that joining forces between companies active in renewables (solar and wind) and marine experts will now give a strong impulse to the adoption of clean energy sources in maritime transport, for a better future.“
María Kristín Þrastardóttir, co-founder of Sidewind believes that by combining and developing three innovative wind and solar technologies, and creating a modular, retrofit solution, the emissions of container and tank ships can be lowered by 15-30%. If successful and widely adopted, WHISPER could reduce the emissions of the long-distance maritime transport industry by what equals the emissions of entire countries.
Chairman and co-founder of AYRO, Marc Van Peteghem, points out that in the current context of fuel price volatility and the increasingly stringent environmental regulations with the implementation of the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) this year for the maritime industry, the WHISPER project can become a catalyst for retrofitting the commercial vessels with breakthrough green technologies.
Kjartan Due Nielsen, Innovation Manager of Verkís highlights the complexities of energy transition in the maritime industry, stating that WHISPER could be a game changing solution for this sector.
The WHISPER project is comprised of 14 partners: Verkís (project lead), Sidewind, AYRO, Solbian, CANOE, Ant Topic, Dotcom, Samskip, Nav-Tech, Stirling Design International, BBA/Fjeldco, Lloyds Register, Athygli, and Inspiralia GmbH.