Abstract

To meet the worldwide requirements of carbon emission reduction, the European Council has set the UK a 15% energy target to come from renewable energy by 2020. The biggest renewable energy sources in the UK are bioenergy, wind, solar, and hydro. The UK is located in prime geography, considered to be the best in Europe, for harvesting, and over the last three decades, the number of wind farms has increased greatly. However, the interaction of wind speed and structural strength has limited the height of platform-based wind turbines to a maximum height of around 100 m. Airborne wind energy (AWE) systems enable the extraction of more energy from the wind at elevated altitudes beyond 150 m using a device termed a kite. A method is required to determine suitable locations for AWE system implementation. In this work, a regional feasibility study has been conducted to establish an ideal suitable location to implement AWE systems. Extensive research has been carried out to assess the electricity costs, energy savings, area availability, as well as regional airborne wind energy power densities at different regions within the UK. A standardized method has been developed to assess the viability of AWE in various geographical locations. It was found that Scotland was the most suitable location for the implementation of AWE systems due to the high wind power density in this region and existing high costs of electricity, thus greater potentials for energy cost savings.

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