Wind-assisted propulsion, the task of retrofitting “sails/rotors” to ships can bring with it many benefits, such as less fuel consumption, costs, and reduced CO2 emissions. In addition, vessels can potentially increase their ship speed for the same engine power. 

Wind-assisted propulsion technologies can potentially offer double-digit fuel savings and do not require specialist crew competencies or additional crew numbers. Due to these factors, the business case for retrofitting vessels with wind-assisted propulsion energy-saving devices is currently being explored and implemented by many industry stakeholders. 

Wind-assisted propulsion retrofits such as suction sails, rotor sails (including Flettner rotors), rigid and kite sails offer a promising path for the shipping industry to move towards a more sustainable future. The technology is maturing, and with the right market conditions and regulatory support, it has the potential to become a widespread solution for reducing the environmental impact of maritime transport.