Life-Cycle Assessment of an Airborne Wind Energy System

A master thesis, commissioned by Airborne Wind Europe, TU Delft and Ampyx Power within the Interreg MegaAWE project, compared a theoretical 5MW fixed-wing Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) system with a 5 MW Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) system. The results – even considering the various uncertainties of upscaling AWE to MW-scale –  are promising: The AWE system requires 70% less material than a HAWT system to produce the same amount of electricity. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the AWE system is 40% lower. This paper summarises the main results of the Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) and provides recommendations to AWE companies and policy makers.

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