The kitegen concept: high altitude wind power based on kites. In this configuration (“stem”), the kite reaches altitudes of the order of 1000 m; pulling on a power generator located on the ground. High altitude wind power promises to be a low cost and widely available technology able, in principle, to provide amounts of energy comparable, and even superior, to the present production based on fossil fuels. (See here an animated representation of how a stem works) But, of course, things are not so simple. We still rely heavily on fossil fuels for our needs and switching to alternative sources is proving to be a very slow and difficult process. Production from traditional nuclear plants is going down (WNA 2009) and fusion power remains far away in the future. Traditional renewable sources, such as wood burning and hydroelectric have very limited possibilities of expansion, while the “new” renewables (mainly photovoltaic and wind power) still produce only a minuscule fraction of the worlds’ total primary energy. It was only last year (2008) that for the first time the total power of new renewable plants installed outstripped that of new traditional plan...