March is often a good time of year for flying a kite. The Wall Street Journal's "The Future of Everything" section mentions a couple of new technologies trying to put kites to good commercial use: "SkySails Group, a Germany-based power company, is developing kites that fly a quarter-mile off the ground to produce energy. As the kite rises, it unwinds a tether connected to a winch and generator, which convert the force on the tether into electricity. 'High-altitude wind is the largest untapped energy resource on Earth,' founder and managing director Stephan Wrage says. Its largest kites are nearly 1,940 square feet in size—generating about 200 kilowatts of power, and meant to replace diesel generators in remote, off-grid islands and villages. The company has installed several pilot kites at sites including the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, with plans to connect them to the grid. ... A French company, Airseas, has developed an 10,800-square-foot kite called Seawing that attaches to a ship’s bow with a cable and pulls the vessel along using wind power. The company’s aim is to help decarbonize the shipping industry, says CEO and co-founder Vincent Bernatets."
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