How do economics of kite power systems compare to wind turbines and PV solar?
E-kite’s wind power systems are able to generate electricity at >50% lower cost of energy compared to wind turbines of similar capacity for two reasons. First, kite power systems do not require heavy, expensive structures such as towers and blades. This results in much lower investment costs. Second, wind energy is harvested at higher altitudes where wind speeds and therefore electricity yields are higher. The economic advantage compared to PV solar systems is of the same order of magnitude.
How can kite power systems best be deployed (net metering vs. delivery to the grid)?
This depends very much on the incentive schemes, energy tariffs and regulations that are in place at the kite power site. If renewable energy incentives are limited while energy tariffs are high, then net metering is relatively more attractive, provided that there is sufficient local off take of the electricity generated. In other cases, delivery to the grid is the better option. In the Netherlands, delivery to the grid under the SDE or collective self-delivery (7.5 €ct/kWh energy tax cut) schemes is most attractive.
What steps are required to develop and install a kite power system project?
The required steps to develop a kite power project differ per country and location, but the first step is always to find a site with reasonable wind conditions and sufficient space to operate a kite power system. Ideally, there is a nearby electricity connection, so that cable costs can be kept low. As a second step, permission will often be required from local authorities such as municipalities. To avoid issues with aviation regulations, e-kite has limited the kite’s flight altitude to 100m (in the Netherlands, there are no restrictions to operate kite power systems up to this altitude unless the site is located within 3-5 km from an airport). The installation of a kite power system is a much easier process than for wind turbines or PV solar cells due to the mobility of the system. Essentially, the system just needs to be connected to the nearest electricity connection.
In which countries are e-kite’s systems available?
The company’s kite power systems are available in key wind markets in Europe, among which Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. Further, e-kite is active in the United States and is considering entrance in other geographical regions as well.