Independent report advises EC to support the development of Airborne Wind Energy technology

October 2018

On behalf of the European Commission, Ecorys studied the potential of the emerging Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) technology together with Fraunhofer IWES, NLR and the Politechnic University of Milan. The aim of the research was to provide clear insight into the AWE sector in order to facilitate the best use of investments for the further development of Airborne Wind Energy Systems.

The report concludes that although the technology is still young, the case for AWE is strong, especially from the perspective of EU industrial leadership. Moreover, there seems sufficient potential to continue supporting the development and demonstration of the technology.

The study also contains recommendations for the commercialization of AWE. Main themes are cross sectoral co-operation and continuous operation of the technology. Ampyx Power acknowledges the importance of these recommendations. In the design of our pre-commercial demonstrator AP3, currently in production and ready to fly next year, we already focused on uninterrupted 24/7 operation. And, today we are preparing ourselves for all-day flights, by testing AP3 algorithms with our operational prototype AP2 that we currently fly at our test center in Kraggenburg. (See video)

For the other recommendation, the sectoral co-operation, one of our contributions will be to share knowledge about our safety approach. Ampyx Power is one of the most advanced in engineering towards compliance with civil aviation safety standards. It is because of this focus on safety, that we obtained all necessary permits and exemptions from the Dutch aviation authorities in 2010 to fly our prototypes. Our reputation with the Dutch aviation authorities has also allowed us to consult directly with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regarding the establishment of clear certification standards for Airborne Wind Energy Systems.

”We welcome the Ecorys study as an independent benchmark. The proposed co-operation in the sector is gaining good momentum. A number of workgroups have been set up already by sector organization Airborne Wind Europe. Ampyx Power is pleased with the report’s recommendation to continue supporting AWE and the commitment within the sector to bring AWE technology to market as soon as possible.”

Michiel Kruijff, Head of Technology at Ampyx Power