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High-Altitude Wind Energy - Visionary Outlook

High-Altitude Wind Energy - Visionary Outlook

With the need for energy on the rise throughout the world, various technologies and sources are being sought after by researchers and energy providers. Conventional wind farms have been harnessing wind power for decades now. Though windmills generate clean energy, the variable nature of power output is a major drawback.

A revolutionary idea was put forth by Miles L. Loyd in a paper titled Crosswind Kite Power published in 1980. He suggested in the paper that energy kites can be used to harness wind energy both mechanically and electrically. Modern day researchers have combined the concepts of Loyd’s paper along with the fact that winds at higher altitudes flow at higher velocities and are much more consistent than winds closer to the ground. They have employed technologies suggested in the paper for generation of electric power. If developed and executed effectively, these technologies could become a new milestone in alternate energy resources.

This research study gives an overview of High Altitude Wind technology and how it is different in terms of cost effectiveness and material usage from conventional wind power generation. The study also assesses the various technologies available at present to harness high altitude winds. The study also provides details of the key participants in the market and the specific technologies they’re developing.

This research service provides the following:

Overview of high altitude wind energy
A snapshot of technologies enabling energy from high altitude winds
Key industry participants
Analyst insights
About this report

High altitude winds have the potential to provide a reliable and a consistent source of power. Based on the wind velocity assessments it has been found that the increase in wind velocity with altitude is proportional to the seventh root of increase in altitude. This implies that at altitudes where the wind velocity is double that of the velocity at an altitude of 100 meters, it would generate power which would be equal to the cube of the power generated at 100 meters. To harness this power, so far untapped, we require technology that is very flexible yet strong. Innovators, predominantly from Europe and America, have started creating technologies and prototypes to harness this power, both in mechanical and electrical forms. While still in infancy, this concept has garnered the attention of industry heavyweights, for example Google and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have invested in start-ups.

This research service gives a snapshot of the technology landscape, the industry value chain and the future outlook. Some key patents and contact details of key industry participants are also given.


  • Executive Summary
    • Research Scope
    • Research Process and Methodology
    • Key Findings
  • Technology Snapshot
    • Overview of High Altitude Wind Energy
    • Drivers and Challenges
    • Technologies Employed
    • Technology Maturity: Ground-based Generation
    • Technology Maturity: Airborne Generation
  • Technology Value Chain
    • Researchers and Engineers
    • Funding Entities
    • Component Suppliers
    • End Users
  • Future Outlook of High Altitude Wind Energy
    • Global Technology Trends
    • Technology Readiness Levels
    • Technology Roadmap
    • Future Outlook
  • Key Patents and Contacts
    • Key Patents
    • Key Contacts

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