In this first review on the subject we describe the ecological impact of airborne wind energy technologies in general, with a particular focus on the rigid wing system developed by Ampyx Power. The chapter outlines a framework consisting of disturbance, ecological sensitivity, impact and legal aspects. We conclude that between 2–13 birds will collide annually with the autonomous aircraft alone. A challenging aspect is to estimate the mortality caused by the tether. Based on data from studies on power lines we find that a tether, that is one kilometer long and active all year round, will cause approximately 11 bird victims per year. For a tethered aircraft active only during the day and only with sufficiently strong wind an estimate of 5–15 bird fatalities per year will be realistic. This estimate is comparable to the number of fatalities found at average wind turbines. These figures can be ten times higher or lower depending on the bird activity at the specific deployment site. We provided a model for the mortality based on the specific characteristics of a bird species. A challenging future task will be the validation of this model considering that evidence suggest that birds can survive an encounter with the tether.
Ecological Impact of Airborne Wind Energy Technology: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Agenda
Title: Ecological Impact of Airborne Wind Energy Technology: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Agenda
April 01, 2018
Book Title: Airborne Wind Energy
Published City: Singapore
Bruinzeel, L.; Klop, E.; Brenninkmeijer, A.; Bosch, J. (2018). Ecological Impact of Airborne Wind Energy Technology: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Agenda. Airborne Wind Energy (pp. ). Singapore: Springer.