Friday, December 08, 2006

Shipping company uses kite power

German shipping company Beluga Shipping has decided that its ships need to be more fuel efficient. So, beginning early next year, Beluga will use a high tech kite called a "SkySail" that will help ships travel further on less fuel.

SkySails are 160 sq meter kites (about the size of a medium-sized passenger jet) and reportedly can cut fuel use by 15-20%, saving companies like Beluga about $1,000 a day on shipping costs. But they're not cheap - prices range between $250,000 - $3 million.


Besides conserving fuel and money, Beluga is also concerned about global warming. Shipping is responsible for moving more than 90% of the world's traded goods, and impending European Union regulations on global warming pollution could hit the sector particulary hard. Beluga plans to eventually outfit all of its ships with a SkySail.

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