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A revolutionary approach to harnessing renewable energy from the oceans has proven successful using a method that emulates the movement of a kite to efficiently extract energy from tidal and ocean currents. This groundbreaking technology is currently providing electricity to the grid in the Faroe Islands. The power generator was developed by Minesto, a Swedish company specializing in marine energy technology.

The tidal energy kite, known as Dragon 12, boasts a substantial wingspan of 12 meters and weighs 28 tons. Tethered to the sea floor in a narrow channel between the islands, the kite’s design enables it to perform repeated figure-of-eight movements, driving the flow of water to spin a turbine and generate electricity. Although Minesto has not disclosed the precise amount of electricity being produced, estimates suggest it could potentially power around 1,000 homes.

In a press statement, Dr Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, described this production of electricity by MegaWatt scale powerplant as a significant milestone for the company. He stated that this technology provides powerful, cost-effective and predictable electricity to the grid, setting the stage for renewable energy expansion in various regions around the world. The cost of tidal power generation using this system appears lower than that of other tidal projects and only slightly higher than offshore wind turbines. This affordability combined with ease of deployment and regularity of tidal currents may position this tidal kite as competitive alternative to offshore wind generation.

The future of this technology holds promising potential, and its further development and implementation will be worth monitoring.

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