Sails make a comeback as shipping tries to go green

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology on the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology on the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology on the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, at Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology on the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, at Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology onto the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the f

Finnish startup company Norsepower installed its rotor sail technology onto the Maersk Pelican tanker, Aug. 29, 2018, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the f

Tuomas Risk, CEO of Finnish startup company Norsepower, poses Nov. 2016, in the North Sea, in front of one of his company’s rotor sails, one of the ne

Tuomas Risk, CEO of Finnish startup company Norsepower, poses Nov. 2016, in the North Sea, in front of one of his company’s rotor sails, one of the ne

LONDON (AP) — As the shipping industry faces pressure to cut climate-altering greenhouse gases, one answer is blowing in the wind.

European and U.S. tech companies, including one backed by airplane maker Airbus, are pitching futuristic sails to help cargo ships harness the free and endless supply of wind power. While they sometimes don't even look like sails — some are shaped like spinning columns — they represent a cheap and reliable way to reduce CO2 emissions for an industry that depends on a particularly dirty form of fossil fuels.

"It's an old technology," said Tuomas Riski, the CEO of Finland's Norsepower, which added its "rotor sail" technology for the first time to a tanker in August. "Our vision is that sails are coming back to the seas."