Flying a kite could have more purpose than pleasure, if Kite Power Solutions’ initiative gets off the ground.
Kite Power has developed technology that uses giant kites to power turbines onshore and at sea, using systems that could produce “hundreds of megawatts” of power within the next few years, according to reports.
The company expects to open the UK’s first kite power plant in March 2017 at the Ministry of Defence’s West Freugh site in Scotland.
Kite Power believes the technology, which was developed by a handful of firms around the world, could significantly cut the cost of wind power investments, making it more accessible especially to developing countries where there is a dearth of funding sources.
David Ainsworth, Kite Power business development director, said the technology could even go further by eliminating the need for wind subsidies that are the result of heavy investment requirements in conventional wind turbines.
He said wind energy is forecast to cost 10 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2022, which means governments need to pay the difference between that price and the wholesale cost of energy, currently at 5.5 cents per kWh.
BVG Associates, an energy consultancy, pegged the cost of kite power at just 5 cents per kWh.
Ainsworth said the technology is easy to install and maintain, and could be deployed in deep water on floating structures away from the shore.
The ease of use and minimal cost involved in kite power could make it easy for developing countries to adopt clean energy and wean their industries away from carbon polluting power plants such as coal and diesel, he added.