Getting airborne – the need to realise the benefits of airborne wind energy for net zero

White Paper for Airborne Wind Europe



Makani 2020 – The Energy Kite Report (Part 1-3)


In the year 2020, the US-based AWE-company Makani went out of business but they published their collective knowledge, data and lessons learned from various years of research, development and operation. As their website has now been closed down, the report can now be found here.


Part-1 (PDF / 10,4 MB)


Part-2 (PDF / 10,6 MB)


Part-3  (PDF / 13,5 MB)





Introduction Airborne Wind Energy (2-Pager PDF)

Airborne Wind Energy – an emerging renewable technology



Einführung Airborne Wind Energy (2-Pager PDF)

Airborne Wind Energy – eine aufstrebende erneuerbare Technologie


Lower onshore technology LCoE (PDF)

The report was made by BVG Associates in 2018 for KPS now aquired by Kitemill. The “KPS 500 kW” correspond to the Kitemill KM3 model of 350 kW average cycle power. The “SWAG” format indicates a mature form with a annual volume exceeding 10 units in each project and an annular volume supplied of >100 units/year.

Download the full report here.



Life-Cycle Assessment of an Airborne Wind Energy System (PDF)

The Circular Economy approach aims at the continuous use of resources in a closed-loop system to
minimise the input of resources and the creation of waste. It suggests rethinking the way industry and
society produces and consumes products and resources in order to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle all

AWE consequently applies the ‘reduce’ rule which is one of the most valuable Circular Economy options. Offering a significant mass reduction for energy generation from wind, AWE represents a step-change and fundamental re-design of wind energy technology.


Airborne Wind Energy

by Roland Schmehl; Associate Professor of the TU Delft University; Faculty Aerospace Engineering.

Airborne wind energy (AWE) is the conversion of wind energy into electricity using tethered flying devices. Some concepts combine onboard wind turbines with a conducting tether, while others convert the pulling power of the flying devices on the ground. Replacing the tower of conventional wind turbines by a lightweight tether substantially reduces the material consumption and allows for continuous adjustment of the harvesting altitude to the available wind resource. The decrease in installation cost and increase in capacity factor can potentially lead to a substantial reduction of the cost of wind energy. Wind at higher altitudes is also considered to be an energy resource that has not been exploited so far. In a first part, this talk will outline the fundamental working principles and a basic theory to describe the energy harvesting performance, using this to explore some of the technology demonstrators of leading industrial players. In a second part, the widely adopted pumping AWE concept will be analyzed in more detail, both theoretically as well as experimentally, with the final goal to describe the performance of AWE systems arranged in wind parks. In a last part, current research challenges are outlined, with a focus on the activities at TU Delft.



High Altitude Wind Maps of Europe

By Philip Bechtle (TU Bonn) and Udo Zillmann (Airborne Wind Europe)

Airborne wind energy systems can harvest winds at 500 meters and even higher altitude. Airborne Wind Europe presents the first wind maps for such altitudes based on ERA5 wind data



Study on challenges in the commercialisation of airborne wind energy systems

By Ecorys; study commissioned by the European Commission DG RTD

Airborne wind energy systems (AWES) is the umbrella name for a series of potentially game-changing concepts to convert wind energy into electricity. This study provides an overview of the technological state of the art, assesses market potential and barriers, and outlines measures and a pathway towards commercialisation,by  Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission) and ECORYS.


Policies for Airborne Wind Energy – Scoping Study – January 2018

By Kristian Petrick (Airborne Wind Europe)

Airborne Wind Europe prepared a policy scoping study in 2018. Its aim was to assess the relevance of policy changes required for the success of Airborne Wind Energy as well as possible means to achieve such policy changes.


Further academic publications:


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