WATCH: Wind energy drones could be ‘magic solution’ to global demand

The University of Bristol has been given a £375,000 research grant to investigate opportunities in Airborne Wind Energy Systems. 

Awarded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [EPSRC], Bill Gate has already describes Airborne Wind Energy Systems [AWES] as a ‘potential magical solution’ to meeting rising global demand for energy. 

AWE systems are made up of a kite, tether, and ground station with generator. Operating at an altitude of 500metres, wind conditions are equivalent to those that power offshore pylons. Germany has already included the technology in its Renewable Energy Act [EEG], along with AWE-specific tariffs. 

‘This is a historic moment for the AWE industry and for sustainable energy as a whole. Germany’s decision to include AWE in its renewable energy framework not only validates our technology but also paves the way for accelerated adoption across Germany, Europe and beyond,’ said Johannes Peschel, CEO of Kitepower. 

‘It is still an emerging technology. In many cases, a trade-off has been made: new designs have been rapidly deployed for test flights before their flying characteristics are fully understood. This has prevented many AWES prototypes from achieving full capacity in operation, leading to early termination of the programme and hindering commercialisation,’ said Dr Duc H. Nguyen, lecturer in Flight Dynamics and Control at the University of Bristol. 

You can watch an animation video showing an AWES in operation below. 

In related news, 70% of the UK is now ready for community renewable ownership, whereby the public invests in new wind and solar developments, with profit delivered in the form of reduced bills.

More on energy: 

Camden and Islington councils adopt low cost, carbon free infrared heating

Hydrogen could cut 20% of emissions, but government must act

‘UK first’ green skills training academy to open in Sheffield

Image: Kitemill


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