The green movement has won a major victory. Minesto UK Ltd, the company that develops the underwater energy generating kite, has been promised a £350,000 (approximately $560,000) grant from the Carbon Trust. This grant is funded by Invest Northern Ireland, a development agency which operates in that region. The grant will allow Minesto to deploy the first ever underwater kite to be based on their designs.
Minesto kites are unique because they operate in areas with low water current, areas previously of no use in energy generation. According to the company, the density of water allows for 800% more energy to be generated from its movement than from airs. Slow moving currents can therefore generate just as much energy as faster wind currents.
The design of the underwater kite is made to function in low current regions. The underwater kite moves in a figure eight formation steered by a rudder allowing it to move at ten times the speed of the water current it operates in. This allows the kite to generate 1,000 times more energy than normal water current generators.
The first of these kites will be deployed later this year. This kite will be a prototype, and will be placed off the coast of Northern Ireland. If successful the company will then begin to deploy more kites in the coming years. If all proceeds according to plan by 2020 enough energy will be generated by these kites to power a city of close to 190,000 people.
For smaller countries, and nations, such as Great Britain, and Northern Ireland, these technologies hold amazing possibilities. For the continental United States their benefit might not be as immediately clear. Most of our country cannot utilize this technology since they are not near the coast. However for states along the coasts, and especially Hawaii, this technology could take a large chunk out of the daily energy we need to power our cities.
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