Airborne Wind Energy, the frontier of wind powered electricity generation . . .
The biggest of the giant wind turbines are built on steel towers and reach about 300′ high. Although capable of generating upwards of 5 or 6 megawatts of electricity per unit, they are often located far away from population centers and require expensive infrastructure development.
While we support conventional wind energy as a clean renewable alternative to the burning of coal or natural gas, we are now looking at new technologies to improve the yield. High above the Earth’s surface wind blows at higher speeds and is more consistent. It would be impractical and prohibitively expensive to build towers to these heights – and yet there is a way to occupy this space: with KITES !
Tethered aviation has been the backbone of many advancements in technology over the past century. The Wright Brothers used kites to perfect the flight dynamics of their manned airplane. Kites have been used to lift antennas and cameras for scientific research. They have also been used in a variety of ways as traction – to pull boats or wheeled vehicles – as early as 1796 (by George Pocock).
Check out AWE, currently in production : http://www.awedocumentary.org
Also check out this amazing encyclopedia of information: Kite Energy Community, Kite Energy Systems rapid development at all scales:AWE Community AWEC AWECS AWE