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Kite Wind Turbines Could Power Saudi Arabia’s Future


The concept of building wind turbines that can be raised as a kite and tethered to batteries or the electrical grid has been around for quite some time.

These devices seem to be a better choice than the systems that use wind in order to generate energy due to the fact that, as Udaya Gunturu (one of the researchers working on ways that kite turbines could be used in order to power the Middle East) said, the problem with traditional turbines is the fact that wind is intermittent.

The new kite turbines would be used in high-altitude areas that can be found over some parts of Saudi Arabia and Oman.

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports concluded that “high-altitude wind resources are abundant, persistent, and readily available and may provide alternative energy resources in this fossil-fuel-dependent region.”

This having been said, it is important to keep in mind that the altitudes where the kite turbines can be used to their full potential tend to change from one season to another. A general rule of thumb is that wind is more abundant as the altitude is increased.

The technology that is currently at our disposal in terms of kite turbines would enable us to harvest wind energy from altitudes between 2 and 3 kilometers. However, as we develop new technologies and lightweight materials, the height at which we can place these systems will increase, allowing us to tap into areas with even stronger winds.

The project’s lead researcher stated that “Our work may help Saudi Arabian wind-energy technology to leapfrog into the future and fulfill the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan on the development of renewable energy resources.”

While the new system would enable Saudi Arabia to cut the amount of fossil fuel it uses, the whole world could benefit from these kite turbines. There are many areas which experience strong winds all-year-round and could benefit from their use. In essence, kite turbines may be a global solution that could help us move one step closer to a green society.

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