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Harvesting Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) using Rigid Kites

Project description

The sky is the limit for wind power

Harnessing wind power is not a new concept. While offshore and onshore wind farms have advanced rapidly within the renewable energy sector, airborne wind energy has yet to take off. Wind is stronger and more consistent with higher altitude where kite turbines can operate and increase production output. The EU-funded AWE project will promote this new electricity-generating technology. Developed by the Norwegian Kitemill company, the kite is able to take off and land vertically and is almost invisible up in the sky. It also outperforms conventional wind turbines. These kites can replace thousands of decommissioned wind turbines offshore where the foundations can no longer carry heavy loads.


Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) is a potentially game-changing technology, which opens a vast new global potential for renewable energy. In Europe alone it is estimated to yearly 3,734 TWh, similar to that of conventional wind turbines AWEs extract energy from winds at altitudes of 500 - 1,500 m where the winds are much faster and more stable than close to the surface where conventional wind turbines operate. This gives a predictable and stable energy source without the same need for balancing and storing in the energy system as conventional wind does. The kite is almost invisible up in the sky and requires a minimal terrestrial footprint. The kite from Kitemill offers electricity at c€ 4.1/kWh already, expected to drop to c€ 2.8/kWh by 2030, outperforming by a distance conventional wind turbines at c€ 4.1/kWh today, but without the same potential for cost reductions as Kitemill. It is able to take-off and land vertically, while competitors need to launch and land like normal sailplanes. Kitemill plans to commercialize its technology through a minimum viable product (MPV) approach and stepwise upscaling of the kite turbines (30 kW/150 kW/500 kW). Kitemill has secured a customer for the world's first demonstration park of five 30 kW units that will be built during this project at Lista (Norway). The overall success criterion for this project is to establish demonstration parks and accumulate operation hours on the kite system, as this is a key enabler for commercial introduction. The market opportunities are abundant; as an example, our kites can replace thousands of decommissioned conventional wind turbines offshore where the foundations are no longer certified to carry heavy loads. If successful, the business is easily scalable and the turnover may reach €97m by 2024, while at the same time mitigate greenhouse gas emissions at low investments.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 2 442 116,25
Evangervegen 3
5704 Voss

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Norge Vestlandet Vestland
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 1 046 621,25