KITE POWER

Wind and solar power work poorly on calm and cloudy days but tidal power is steady and predictable. How about an underwater kite to harness it?

The Minesto kite can do a figure eight underwater to produce electricity that is sent to shore by way of heavy cables. The whole system, including a turbine that rides beneath the kite’s 39-foot wing span, weighs 7 tons. Yet it’s still lighter and more portable than some other equipment, according to a report from SmartPlanet.com.

Other companies working on kite power include “UEK,” (Underwater Electric Kite). Testing for the Minesto system is expected to begin in North Ireland in 2011.

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