• 4 minutes Is $60/Bbl WTI still considered a break even for Shale Oil
  • 7 minutes Oil Price Editorial: Beware Of Saudi Oil Tanker Sabotage Stories
  • 11 minutes Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama's Attempted Coup Against Trump
  • 15 minutes Wonders of Shale- Gas,bringing investments and jobs to the US
  • 1 hour IMO 2020 could create fierce competition for scarce water resources
  • 15 hours Old - New Kim: Nuclear Negotiations With U. S. Will Never Resume Unless Washington Changes Its Position
  • 16 mins Evil Awakens: Fascist Symbols And Rhetoric On Rise In Italian EU Vote
  • 8 hours Theresa May to Step Down
  • 11 hours IMO2020 To scrub or not to scrub
  • 14 hours India After Elections: Economy And Hindu Are The First Modi’s Challenges
  • 37 mins Apartheid Is Still There: Post-apartheid South Africa Is World’s Most Unequal Country
  • 27 mins Total nonsense in climate debate
  • 11 hours Devastating Sanctions: Iran and Venezuela hurting
  • 3 hours IRAN makes threats, rattles sabre . . . . U.S. makes threats, rattles sabre . . . . IRAQ steps up and plays the mediator. THIS ALLOWS BOTH SIDES TO "SAVE FACE". Then serious negotiations start.
  • 227 days Epic Fail as Solar Crashes and Wind Refuses to Blow
  • 13 hours Compensation For A Trade War: Argentina’s Financial Crisis Creates An Opportunity For China
  • 9 hours Level-Headed Analysis of the Future of U.S. Shale Oil Industry
Alt Text

First Solar, Now Wind: China’s Renewable Dominance

Despite slower global wind power…

Alt Text

Texas Has A New Favorite Energy Source

Texas, known world-wide for its…

Alt Text

U.S. Wind Energy Demand Surges

Exceptional demand for wind energy…

Jess McCabe

Jess McCabe

Jess is a writer for Environmental Finance.Environmental Finance is the leading global publication covering the ever-increasing impact of environmental issues on the lending, insurance, investment…

More Info

Trending Discussions

High Altitude Wind Energy: Why the Future of Wind Farms May be in the Sky

Using kites and balloons to tap the strong, consistent winds more than two kilometres in the air could avoid many of the pitfalls of more down-to-earth wind farms, according to the first market report on the nascent industry by consultancy GL Garrad Hassan.

No commercial scale pilots have been tested in the air yet, according to the report, but small-scale prototypes have been tried out. ‘Real scale’ prototypes are being developed by some of the 22 companies active in the high altitude wind energy (Hawe) field.

At greater altitudes, wind velocity is higher and more consistent than at ground level. Hawe systems vary in design but may involve a kite, parachute, rotating balloon or fixed wing, tethered to the ground or an offshore platform.

For example, California-based Makani Power has received a $15 million grant from Google to build a prototype of its ‘wing concept’, which has an onboard computer that navigates the wind in a circular pattern mimicking a traditional wind turbine, the report says. The company plans to have products on the market in 2013-14, with a 1MW model on sale in 2015.

Germany's SkySail Power has invested €50 million ($72 million) in its kite technology, according to the report, which is also attaches to commercial ships to generate power.

Italian firm KiteGen Stem uses a pulley system to generate electricity, and has already tested a prototype at 800m. The report says the firm is testing a 3MW capacity system. Other firms are closer to the drawing board.

Onshore wind farms are currently the most popular renewable energy projects but, the report predicts, Hawe systems could help meet growing demand for carbon neutral electricity generation without taking up space on land.

Oceans too deep to install traditional offshore wind turbines could host floating tethers for Hawe systems, the report predicts. West of the UK and Ireland, east of Japan, the Pacific west of Oregon and British Columbia are all “promising areas” for such developments.

Nascent industry focusing attention 2km up and higher

These systems fly more than 200m up, with most of the industry’s attention focused on harnessing winds more than 2km up. Hawe systems could operate at heights of up to 20km, the report predicts.

China is expected to lead the Hawe market, also known as the airborne wind energy industry, as in the wider clean energy space. But in Europe, the UK will dominate, Garrad Hassan predicts.

More research is needed to fill in gaps in the data about wind speeds so far above ground, says the report. Further technical developments will also be needed, such as to deal with the threat of thunder and lightening, the weight of tether cables that can transmit electricity and control of the systems.

Winning permission from air traffic authorities will also be a hurdle, the report acknowledges. “Considering the experience of commercial wind developments in respect of flight path issues and radar interference, the authorities are likely to be very conservative and restrictive in their responses to flight path issues,” the report warns.

By. Jess McCabe

Source: Environmental-Finance




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News