Kites: A Novel Model for Shipping Efficiency?


German company SkySails has designed a propulsion system, via the use of kites, to help cargo ships become more energy efficient while making their daily and weekly sailings, according to CNBC.

PTI reported in a previous article that shipping emissions are of growing concern for the industry and with major arctic routes now open for commercial shipping, this could crystallise prior claims that arctic emissions could soar by as much as 600% by 2025.

Stephan Wrage, CEO and Co-founder of SkySail, said: “The idea is quite simple: With kites you can gain much more thrust than with any other wind-harnessing device.

“It's much more powerful than a traditional sail, and it's also more powerful than a traditional wind turbine.”

To install one of these kite propulsion systems will cost around US$1.7 million to $2.8 million, however, it will only cost approximately six cents for the ship to use one kilowatt of wind power per hour.

Ports and shipping lines are under increasing pressure to lower emissions, and carriers such as Maersk have pledged to lower emissions by 60% per container.

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