Germany’s SkySails has said bon voyage to the first kite-powered ship traveling from Germany to Venezuela. Actually the kite only helps propel the boat, but is estimated to cut from 10 percent to 35 percent of the ship’s diesel fuel costs.
The kites, which fly about up to 300 meters above the boat and measure up to 640 square meters, are not cheap, but compared with the rising cost of fuel and the added stigma of being known as polluters, the shipping industry may not see the kites as so much hot air. As a side note for our wealthier readers, attaching a SkySail to a super yacht effectively turns it into a hybrid, allowing environmentalism to take a bite out of your wallet, not your lifestyle.
The company won an Annual Technology Pioneer award from the World Economic Forum in December. Check out what looks like a test run in the video above and a more slick demo in the video below.