Research into wind energy gives lift to future study

Paving the way for possible reduction in electricity prices, further research into the harnessing of wind energy at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology has uncovered ways to gather wind power at height.

Dr Dylan Thorpe used kites and gliders to demonstrate the possibility of using variations in cable tension to generate energy.

This technology could be of use both in Australia and worldwide.

"The power available in winds at altitudes greater than approximately five kilometres is at least ten times more than at ground level," he said.

"Conceptually, if a wind turbine can be built that negates the need for a tower we can generate renewable energy at a fraction of the current cost."

The tools he used and developed for his experiments will also help future teams build on his findings and open up the field of energy research.

According to Sustainability Victoria, wind accounted for 1,217.5 megawatts out of a total 1,419 of renewable electricity generation in 2010.

Since 2005 it has grown to become the most commonly used form of sustainable energy in the state over hydro, biomass and solar.

Posted by Charlie Moore