Advanced site identification tool for airborne wind energy systems unveils thousands of suitable sites in Germany: demonstrating that this innovative technology, strategic for islands, has great potential.
Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) developers and policy makers need to know the number of potentially suitable sites for AWE deployment and the respective capacity potential in a given country. A crucial achievement of the MegaAWE project supported by Interreg North-Western Europe is the publication of a report made by AWEurope partner BlueWise Marine from Ireland that reveals significant Airborne Wind Energy potential in Germany.
AWE systems use kites and gliders to harness renewable power from high-altitude winds, complementing conventional technologies. The site identification analysis helps in understanding fundamental characteristics, minimizing risks, and maximizing the economic viability of AWE devices. The tool considers 12 parameters, ensuring technology-agnostic results, and can be customized to individual developer needs.
The Site Identification Tool developed offers precise results for identifying suitable operation spaces for AWE devices, considering parameters such as tether length. The analysis shows that an operational radius of 850m could potentially enable AWE deployment on more than 2670 sites with a capacity of over 12 GW. In case of a shorter tether, more than 100 GW on over 22,000 sites could be theoretically deployed.
The study emphasizes the importance of data accuracy, high-resolution datasets, and wind profile analysis for reliable site identification. Despite challenges in data availability, the tool provides valuable insights for governments, regulatory bodies and energy stakeholders to set renewable energy goals and policies. Further enhancements involve automation, customization, and detailed wind profile analysis for improved capacity estimates. Overall, the site identification tool is crucial for the sustainable deployment of AWE technology and marks an upcoming analysis for other countries in the new MegaAWE follow-up project called DEM-AWE, with plans to carry out the same analysis for Ireland, France and Spain in the course of 2024.
In conclusion, the progress of Airborne Wind Europe and its partner BlueWise Marine are supporting AWE developers to identify the potential of the number of suitable sites and the AWE potential in a given country, coupled with the establishment of a successful test site in Ireland through the MegaAWE project, this marks a significant milestone for AWE. The unveiling of BlueWise Marine’s Site Identification Tool underscores its pivotal role in providing precise and customizable results for AWE deployment, notably revealing substantial potential in Germany. As AWE systems offer a complementary approach to conventional technologies, the tool’s emphasis on fundamental characteristics, and economic viability contributes to shaping a sustainable future.
Read the full report: MegaO, 2023: Site Analysis for AWE. A case study in Germany.
Article written by: Kristian Petrick, Secretary General of Airborne Wind Europe