CORDIS - EU research results

Harvesting Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) using Rigid Kites

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - AWE (Harvesting Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) using Rigid Kites)

Reporting period: 2021-10-01 to 2023-01-31

As energy demand is expected to grow by 24-34% by 2040, a shift towards renewable energy sources is crucial to avoid a climate catastrophe and fulfill the goals set in the Paris Agreement. Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) technology has the potential to make the largest impact on both added energy and abated CO2 emissions. Kitemill, as the beneficiary reporting this text, has developed an innovative kite-based AWE system that offers a scalable, cost-effective, and sustainable solution for wind energy production.

The overall objectives of the project include developing and commercializing advanced AWE technology, improving operational performance, securing permits and collaborations, and engaging customers across multiple market segments. Achieving these objectives will contribute to securing European industrial leadership in AWE and help meet the increasing global demand for renewable energy.

The project has successfully concluded, demonstrating Kitemill's AWE technology as a viable solution for renewable energy production, capable of disrupting the market and contributing to a sustainable energy transition.
Kitemill has made significant progress in technical development, operational enhancement, market expansion, and project management throughout the project. These achievements have culminated in securing permits for a pioneering AWE demonstration site in Lista, Norway.

The project has demonstrated that Kitemill's technology has a consistent mass advantage, which makes the scaling of the business and technology implementation more feasible. Kitemill has advanced regulatory work to support a technology rollout. The team and equipment have been ready on site for over 3000 hours and have completed more than 350 flights, developing automatic functionality across a wide range of operational conditions. The technology's operational results have shown a proven efficiency rate.

Exploitation of these results has strengthened the commercial path for Kitemill, with external reviews and support validating the technology's potential. Dissemination efforts include engaging with potential customers and stakeholders, showcasing Kitemill's technology and its potential to revolutionize the renewable energy sector.
Kitemill's AWE technology surpasses the state of the art in wind energy generation, enabling more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable energy production. The project aligns with the EU's goals for renewable energy and industrial leadership. During the project period, Kitemill secured five granted patents, ensuring freedom to operate and positioning itself at the forefront of the AWE sector.

The project's potential impacts are far-reaching, including strengthening Europe's renewable energy industry, advancing sustainability in energy production, and promoting access to affordable wind energy solutions. AWE has been identified as a highly suitable renewable energy technology for replacing diesel consumption, offering more than twice the availability of solar. Its small footprint, 90% reduction in mass compared to conventional wind turbines, and ease of relocation make it an attractive solution for temporary and cost-sensitive energy needs.

The wider societal implications involve fostering a more sustainable energy future and playing a vital role in the global fight against climate change. Conventional wind turbine manufacturers see the opportunity to combine large wind turbines with kite turbines, improving energy yield and cutting costs through shared infrastructure. This approach creates a promising entry market for utility-scale deployment, ultimately contributing to global efforts to combat climate change and encouraging the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources.

The socio-economic impact of Kitemill's technology is significant, with a scalable business model that could potentially reach €1 billion in turnover in the early 2030s, as the real growth towards net-zero starts.
One of several demonstration activities during project implementation
Enabling of the words first AWE array consisting of two permitted systems
The 1st of two system installed at Lista, the best AWE test site worldwide
One of more than 350 flights performed during the project implimentaion
Autonomous operation at Lista