Another green company hocking yet another brilliant Co2-emissions reduction scheme is now laying off workers. Scant interest in its planet-saving product. Hat-tip Bernd Felsche.
The German FAZ reports here that Hamburg-based SkySails will lay off half of its workers. Managing director Stephan Wrage, an industrial engineer, blames reluctance by shipping companies to invest in his “innovative technology”. The FAZ also adds:
There’s no support from the banks. He expects the difficult situation to continue for another 1 to 2 years.”
I can’t understand the lack of interest. Maybe it has something to do with high costs and low benefits? Damn customers – always expecting performance for their money.
What the company has to do now is ask the government to pass a law requiring ships be outfitted with towing kites. You see, the shipping companies are too stupid to recognize the benefits of this “innovative technology”. They need the government to decide it for them. After all, according to the company’s website, “40 employees representing a wide range of disciplines and specialties – from aerospace engineers, to software developers, shipbuilders, management professionals and CNC operators – all help to develop, manufacture and market the worldwide patented SkySails technology.” They can’t be all wrong, can they?
The company, established in 2001, also boasts:
SkySails kites are the key technology for capturing the vast potential of high-altitude winds, and SkySails is the first company in the world that has succeeded in developing towing-kite technology into an industrial application. […] Some 50 million euros have been invested in developing the SkySails technology and establishing the manufacturing capability.
50 million euros! And high altitude? Since when do ships fly? And they claim they have succeeded?
SkySails won many awards
There are also promotional videos for the award-winning company’s products at its website. One shows how the huge kite is deployed (to high altitudes). It requires that the ship be outfitted with a giant crane for hoisting the large kite into the air before releasing it. The crane itself has got to cost a fortune.
I majored in mechanical engineering, and only a couple hours of simple calculations would tell anyone that this technology makes no sense. I’m beginning to wonder what German engineering students are being taught at their universities.
The FAZ also writes:
The shipping companies are hesitant to invest a million euros for a towing kite. So far SkySails has sold about 10 towing kites, but not all have been installed.”
A million euros! Ten kites – in 11 years.
My advice to the management is that they speak to an old engineer, the kind that still uses a slide rule and was never brainwashed by green religion, and listen to what he says. If he says ha ha ha – it means the idea won’t work, and start designing a better diesel engine instead.
I’m sure there were a number of politicians who made the obligatory tour of the “innovative” plant, followed by a speech on how this was the “future of energy” – blah blah blah. Fritz Vahrenholt’s and Sebastian Lünings’s book “Die kalte Sonne” did not hit the bookstores a minute too soon.