Viability of Airborne Wind Energy in the United Kingdom

[+] Author and Article Information
Zhihui Ye

103 Borough Road School of the Built Environment and Architecture, London South Bank University London, SE1 0AA United Kingdom yez4@lsbu.ac.uk

Harry Lawner

103 Borough Road london, SE1 0AA United Kingdom harrylawner@googlemail.com

Issa Chaer

School of the Built Environment and Architecture 103 Borough Road London, SE10AA, London SE10AA United Kingdom chaeri@lsbu.ac.uk

Marcus Ross

103 Borough Road london, SE1 0AA United Kingdom marcus9983@hotmail.co.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications. Manuscript received September 28, 2018; final manuscript received February 16, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Ziad Saghir.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043387 History: Received September 28, 2018; Accepted February 17, 2019


To meet the worldwide requirements of carbon emission reduction, the European Council has set the UK a 15% energy target to come from renewable energy by 2020. The biggest renewable energy sources in the UK are bioenergy, wind, solar and hydro. The UK is located in prime geography, considered to be the best in Europe, for harvesting and over the last three decades, the number of wind farms has increased greatly. However, the interaction of wind speed and structural strength have limited the height of platform-based wind turbines to a maximum height of around 100 m.

Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) systems enable the extraction of more energy from the wind at elevated altitudes beyond 150 meters using a device termed a kite. A method is required to determine suitable locations for AWE system implementation. In this work, a regional feasibility study is conducted to establish an ideal suitable location to implement the AWE system. Extensive work has been carried out to assess the electricity costs and energy savings, area availability as well as regional airborne wind energy power densities at different regions within the UK. A standardised method has been developed to assess the viability of AWE in various geographical locations. It was found that Scotland was the most suitable location for the implementation of an AWE system.

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