Germany‚Äôs Beluga Group has created and used an innovative sail called SkySail that assists in powering cargo ships in transoceanic crossings. The sail is approximately 160 square meters and flies at around 1,000 feet. The $800,000 sail reduced consumption of bunker oil on the 132 meter ship by about 15%, which can be substantial on a ten day sea crossing saving more than 900 pounds of fuel per day. If the kites become widely used, they could reduce the estimated 800 million tons of carbon that cargo ships emit every year.
Beluga is currently testing a 320 square meter version that is expected to double the fuel savings. By 2009, they plan to have a 600 square meter version in use. By 2015, Beluga plans to have SkySails installed on more than 1,500 ships.