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Is airborne wind energy the future of turbines?

Airborne Wind Energy has many potential advantages that could see it play a crucial role in the long-term transition to renewable energy. However, such a new innovation requires some clever thinking and financial backing to really get it off the ground. Cost-effectiveness is one barrier to its success so far, so how can this be overcome to enable the technical progress to shine through?

Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) is an early-stage wind power technology, employing innovative wind turbine systems based on flying devices such as kites, aerostats and planes. These are connected to the ground by a tether to reach and exploit the more consistent and stronger high-altitude winds for generating electricity. 

The aim of AWE is to provide a wind generator that is not restricted by bulky blades and unmovable towers that characterise conventional wind turbines. Instead, power generation occurs either ‘on-board’ the flying device or on ‘the ground’. 

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