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German Inventor Saves Fuel By Flying A Kite

SkySail kite being demonstrated at promotional event. Photo: Ursula Horn (CC)

SkySail kite being demonstrated at promotional event. Photo: Ursula Horn (CC)

SkySails has invented a method that could cut down on ‘fuel consumption, costs and carbon footprints’ for commercial ships by developing giant kites. The Raw Story reports:

The blue-hulled vessel would slip by unnoticed on most seas if not for the white kite, high above her prow, towing her to what its creators hope will be a bright, wind-efficient future.

The enormous kite, which looks like a paraglider, works in tandem with the ship’s engines, cutting back on fuel consumption, costs, and carbon footprint.

“Using kites you can harness more energy than with any other type of wind-powered equipment,” said German inventor Stephan Wrage, whose company SkySails is looking for lift-off on the back of worldwide efforts to boost renewable energy.

The 160-square-metre (524-square-foot) kite, tethered to a yellow rope, can sail 500 metres into the skies where winds are both stronger and more stable, according to the 38-year-old Wrage.

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The Relationship Between Oil, Earth and Humanity

LittleEarthOil has been the topic of discussion in American news since the 1920s, but have circumstances really changed? With the Deep Horizon spill in 2010 causing unprecedented pollution, the leak in the Alaskan pipeline and the new energy deal between China and Scotland, we are witnessing an increasing struggle for fossil fuel resources and a constant search for new energy sources. An excerpt from disinformation‘s The Little Earth Book by James Bruges gives us a retrospective look of how the oil situation of today was seen 6 years ago.

The Future of Oil: Who’s Fooling Whom? – and Why?

Draw a line five miles long to represent the millions of years during which solar energy has been captured and laid down in the earth’s crust in the form of coal, gas and oil. Then put a blip in it. That blip represents the time we have taken to extract and use this embodied energy.Read the rest

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U.S. Called Vulnerable To Rare Earth Shortages

Photo: Peter Morgan

Via The New York Times:

The United States is too reliant on China for minerals crucial to new clean energy technologies, making the American economy vulnerable to shortages of materials needed for a range of green products — from compact fluorescent light bulbs to electric cars to giant wind turbines.

So warns a detailed report to be released on Wednesday morning by the United States Energy Department. The report, which predicts that it could take 15 years to break American dependence on Chinese supplies, calls for the nation to increase research and expand diplomatic contacts to find alternative sources, and to develop ways to recycle the minerals or replace them with other materials.

At least 96 percent of the most crucial types of the so-called rare earth minerals are now produced in China, and Beijing has wielded various export controls to limit the minerals’ supply to other countries while favoring its own manufacturers that use them.

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