And the coming wind did roar more loud / And the sails did sigh like sedge

A while ago, I wrote a post on the SkySails system, intended to reduce the fuel use of cargo ships through the use of a massive kite. Today, Neal put a post on MetaFilter on the possible resurgence of sail.

A return to sail does have both ecological and romantic appeal. Forcing the fishing industry to use equipment from the 18th or 19th century (with better safety gear) might even maintain employment without utterly ravishing the sea as rapidly as we are doing now. It could spur the re-emergence of a wooden sailing ship industry, and it would probably attract some tourists as well.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

3 thoughts on “And the coming wind did roar more loud / And the sails did sigh like sedge”

  1. In Dead Water

    The World’s oceans play a crucial role for life on the planet. Healthy seas and the services they provide are key to the future development of mankind. Our seas are highly dynamic, structured and complex systems. The seafloor consists of vast shelves and plains with huge mountains, canyons and trenches which dwarf similar structures on land. Ocean currents transport water masses many times larger than all rivers on Earth combined.

    Year of Publication: 2008
    Author: UNEP
    ISBN No: 978-82-7701-048-9
    PDF Available at: In Dead Water
    Number of Pages: 64

  2. High-altitude drones have also been proposed as a way to generate electricity, because strong winds blow more reliably well above the ground. Known as wind drones or energy kites, such aircraft are tethered so that cables can deliver the electricity back to the ground. Makani, a startup acquired by Google in 2013, reckons a single energy kite can generate 50% more electricity than a single wind turbine while using only 10% of the materials. Each Makani energy kite, which resembles a wing with eight propellers, weighs 11 tonnes, compared with about 100 tonnes for a comparable 600kW turbine. This approach is being pursued by other firms too, including Ampyx Power and Kite Power Systems, both backed by E.ON, a German utility. Tethered drones on a smaller scale are also being considered for indoor use in warehouses, where they might help with stocktaking. Flying indoors neatly sidesteps many regulatory problems, and supplying power via tethers does away with the need for recharging. But GPS cannot be used for positioning.

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