From kite-powered cargo ships to large sails on freighters, wind power has huge potential to help make shipping less dependent on fossil fuels.
Mat McDermott at YaleE360 reports on how the Vermont Sail Freight Project aims to show that carbon-neutral boats can be a viable shipping method with the help of 21st century technology:
This week a new sailing barge was launched on Lake Champlain that its backers hope will soon be in the vanguard of a new carbon-neutral shipping alternative. The 39-foot Ceres — built by volunteers from the Vermont Sail Freight Project and farmer Erik Andrus — is an update on the type of cargo vessels that once plied the inland waterways throughout the northeastern U.S. Like them, the Ceres will sail without any sort of motorized assistance.
With no refrigerator onboard, the Ceres will have to carry goods that will last the approximately 10-day trip without losing quality. Grains, dry beans, preserves, onions, squash, and potatoes will make the trip. Without a fixed sailing schedule, customers will learn their orders are approaching by phone, text, or email.
The boat is currently being tested on Lake Champlain, but will hopefully soon be moving produce from farmers in Vermont down along the Hudson River to New York City.