Scotland is ambitious to meet its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 66% by the year 2032, which is why kites will generate power for an entire region of Scotland in less than a decade.
The United States of America might be reneging on its previous commitment to decreasing carbon emissions in an effort to reduce climate change, but Scotland is still ambitious to meet its goal of reducing emissions by 66% by the year 2032. One of the ways the country will achieve this is by harnessing the power of kites – seriously.
In just under ten years, kites will generate power for an entire region of Scotland. As Motherboard reports, British company Kite Power Solutions (KPS) has developed “kytoons” (hybrid kite-ballon power systems) which look like parachutes but fly on a jet stream at 20,000 feet elevation. As they move up and down with the wind currents, hundreds of megawatts of energy are generated for a very low cost.
To help Scotland meet its green energy goal, Kite Power Solutions will install a 500-kilowatt system of kite-supported power stations at the Ministry of Defense’s West Freugh Range. By 2025, says the company, the offshore kite station will be fully operational, generating clean energy from the jet stream.
Each kite measures approximately 131 feet (40 meters) wide and can generate up to three megawatts of electricity. As Inhabitat points out, that is similar to the output of a single 328-foot (100-meter) wind turbine.
A benefit of utilizing kites for renewable energy is that they are very cost-effective. KSP says the kites are so affordable, tax-based government subsidies won’t be necessary to complete the project. Instead, Royal Dutch Shell oil company and the UK government will back the kite farm.
An additional benefit is that the kite-based power system can be installed where a traditional offshore wind turbine couldn’t. The system also requires much less maintenance over time, which makes them economical.
How much energy could a farm with 1,000 kites generate? According to KPS, about the same amount of electricity as the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
David Ainsworth, business development director of Kite Power Solutions, estimates that the kites will be used around 355 days of the year because the country is quite windy. Even during the 10-day downtime, a fan will keep the kites up in the air until the wind picks up again.