Weblogs and other media have been talking about the resurection of sailing vessels for a week or two now, starting with “skysails” and now the extraordinary “Orcelle”, by scandanavian firm Wallenius Wilhelmson. It’s completely hypothetical, but this monstrous transport would use a complex combination of sails, wave energy, solar panels and fuel cells to make its way across the sea, producing no emissions in the process.
Turns out the world’s shipping fleet is a lot dirtier than you might think – according to the Skysails website, “the toxic emission volume of the world trade fleet equals that of the United States.”
The image below, from the Nature PDF on Skysails’ site, tracks seaborne emissions across the globe, clearly illustrating shipping lanes as hotspots.
The Orcelle, profiled in the UK’s Telegraph, will probably never sail as currently envisioned, but some elements of its design might be incorporated on ships within 5 years. (source Curt Rosengren) There is no indication of exactly what kind of price tag might be attached to ship like the Orcelle, but it’s certainly an inspiration worth watching. Wallenius Willamason have set up a special website all about the ship to satisfy your curiousity.