A large kite installed on a merchant ship is expected to save shipping fuel costs by up to 20% and do its part for the environment. The kite-fitted MV Beluga Skysails cargo ship will make its maiden voyage in early 2008 and its inventors are hoping to start a small revolution in greening our deep blue seas.
There is a video of it after the fold.
The kite will cost about 500,000 Euros, paying for itself over three years, and will fly up to 300 meters in the sky where it will latch onto powerful winds. Companies are lining up to test the system, says Reuters, which will make the first trip from Greenland to Venezuela.
"The shipping industry emits 800 million tonnes of CO2 now and that will rise to over 1 billion tonnes in five years," says Niels Stolberg, a company rep. This news puts fresh wind in our sails. Let's just hope their leads don't get tangled with the kitesurfers, who are cropping up all over the world.
This post follows up on TreeHugger's past coverage on the idea.
See: Kite For Sail: Something Old is New Again
Sky Sails Promise Wind Energy for Fuel Reduction
Beluga Group Signs Contract for Sky Sail Power