Cargo boats are among the most polluting things on Earth after cars. Most of them have no emission control and do not obey regulations put in place only a few years ago. Because their value is huge and their profits are enormous, only unobtrusive green thinking can change the way they travel and pollute the air.
SkySail is a company coming to help big boats do their job easier, and offers them a method as old as sailing itself: wind propelling. SkySail built something resembling a parachute, a big one, in fact, that attaches to the even bigger cargo boat and helps it along, with the power of the wind. It hovers between 100 and 300 meters in the air, and can produce a power of 800 to 1340 horsepower – only by wind’s help! Depending on usage, SkySail can offer fuel savings between 10 and 30 percent, also reducing the transportation cost of the materials.
Surely SkySail or similar inventions won’t replace big engines, as they evolved by need, but reducing consumption and pollution is never a bad idea. Still, the ocean itself has enough energy to power entire cities. An inventor named Francois Kneider has perfected and demonstrated propulsion systems based on wave energy. Helped by wind powered systems, this invention could save even more fuel. And… who knows? Maybe there’s enough of it to run fully independent.