The sail-powered freighter Beluga Skysails was launched nearly five years ago, but the quest for renewable-energy powered commercial ships continues to amaze. Now comes word of a renewable two-fer, the Aquarius Eco Ship, which is powered partly by rigid sails that incorporate solar panels. Being designed by Japan’s Eco Marine Power, its so-called EnergySail could lower fuel use by 40 percent by relying on wind and solar power along with other energy-saving technologies. (And, as Cnet reports, “large vessels such as oil tankers could see annual fuel savings of 10 to 20 percent” -- which has a quirky why-bother? aspect to it, but every savings helps.)
Eco Marine Power hopes to launch the Golden Age of PV Sail with sea trials in 2013.
Image by Eco Marine Power
Reed McManus is a senior editor at Sierra. He has worked on the magazine since Ronald Reagan’s second term. For inspiration, he turns to cartoonist R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural, who famously noted: “Twas ever thus.”