Norsepower Rotor Sails reduce carbon dioxide emissions for Scandlines

29 November 2021

Climate Investment

CI-Norsepower-Rotor-Sails-reduce-carbon-dioxide-emissions-for-Scandlines CI-Norsepower-Rotor-Sails-reduce-carbon-dioxide-emissions-for-Scandlines


Scandlines operates high frequency, large capacity passenger and freight ferries between Denmark and Germany, and has a vision to convert to zero emission shipping. Having already invested in technologies to create the largest hybrid ferry fleet in operation, Scandlines was looking to further reduce its environmental footprint.


After installing a Norsepower Rotor Sail in 2020 on the M/V Copenhagen, a hybrid ferry running between Rostock and Gedser, Scandlines decided to replicate the use of the Rotor Sail Solution technology on its sister ferry, the M/V Berlin. Rotor Sails provide an auxiliary wind propulsion system, allowing engines to be throttled back in favourable wind conditions.


A year’s worth of data from operating the M/V Copenhagen with a Rotor Sail demonstrated an average of a 4 – 5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Performing around ten times more efficiently than conventional sail, the Norsepower Rotor Sail delivers more lift from a much smaller sail area and requires neither reefing nor the attention of the crew. This ‘push-button wind propulsion’ offers potential for broad application potential across the global shipping fleet.

Expanding impact

The highly visible 30-metre sails generate a lot of public interest, and are a visible signal of the company’s green vision. Initial preparation works have already taken place on the M/V Berlin, with installation of the vessel’s Rotor Sail scheduled for 2022. Performance is expected to match the 4-5% reduction demonstrated on the M/V Copenhagen.

Harnessing wind to generate thrust and reduce fuel consumption and emissions has proved commercially successful. Depending on wind conditions on a ship’s route, the number of Rotor Sails and the vessel’s operational profile, the technology offers savings of up to 25%.

Norsepower has calculated that Rotor Sail technology is technically applicable to around 30,000 vessels currently in operation around the world.  If applied, this would result in an annual emissions reduction of more than 80 megatonnes of CO2.