Kongsberg Innovation's CEO, Svein-Olav Torø, believes that Kitemill is on the brink of a commercial breakthrough. He is familiar with the company, as the innovation giant from Kongsberg has been a stakeholder in Kitemill since 2012.
Torø emphasizes that Kitemill's way of generating electric power stands out in terms of both climate and environment compared to more traditional power generation methods.
"Our solutions have much less environmental and land impact. This is a significant advantage, which I believe will be crucial in choosing a solution. It's essential to make this known to the general public and politicians. Kitemill doesn't depend on large access roads or significant interventions in nature. Compared to other solutions, like traditional wind farms with fixed wind turbines, Kitemill's footprint is minimal. Overall, their technology is much more sustainable. Kitemill has a much smaller CO2 footprint and land use. The kites producing power high up in the sky are barely visible or audible. I have yet to hear that they've harmed birds. Kitemill's installations don't need to be placed high up, making them visible. The kites can be launched from dense forest areas, where a regular wind turbine couldn't be installed."
Torø believes Kitemill's solutions are far more flexible than other power generation methods, as the installations can be quickly and easily moved.
"The installations can also function in existing power generation sites, like large wind farms. Existing infrastructure can be utilized. They can also be placed on foundations of older offshore wind turbines that have been decommissioned. Instead of removing them, the foundations can be used for high-altitude wind power," says Torø.
Kongsberg Innovation's CEO believes high-altitude wind power can swiftly address the challenge of current power shortages relative to increasing demand. To achieve this, commercialization and industrialization within the high-altitude wind power sector need to accelerate.
"We see many significant private investors believe in Kitemill's future, as does the EU. Now the Norwegian state must also act. I believe the state has a significant responsibility to support development, just as it once backed the oil and gas industry. That led to the growth of subcontractor companies in Norway, creating many Norwegian jobs. In Norway, we have the expertise and technology to elevate high-altitude wind power into a commercial and industrial phase. If the state doesn't take on the role of supporting this effort, the potential jobs in the future industry of high-altitude wind power may end up abroad, not in Norway," emphasizes Svein-Olav Torø.
He stresses that Norway has the opportunity. The state has many tools, like Innovation Norway and Enova. Commercialization and industrialization can be subsidized, accelerating the green transition, benefiting the state, investors, and most importantly, the environment.
"It's now a matter of getting politicians to understand high-altitude wind power and the unique opportunities Norway has to make a significant difference in future power production," says Torø.
Kongsberg Innovation is an industry-based advisory, investor, and innovation company operating throughout Norway. The company supports ambitious entrepreneurs, startups, and established companies that share Kongsberg Innovation's passion for growth, innovation, and scalable business ideas.
"I predict an exciting future for Kitemill's solutions. It's clear that we need much more power production in the coming years. We must achieve this without compromising the climate and environment. I'm a technology optimist, confident that the new power we need to produce in the future will be sustainable and good for the climate and environment, which Kitemill's solutions undoubtedly are," says an optimistic Svein-Olav Torø.
Commercialization on the Horizon: Kongsberg Innovation's CEO, Svein-Olav Torø, is confident about Kitemill's future and the commercialization of its technology. Torø has been Kitemill's chairman for six years and is currently a board member. Kongsberg Innovation has been a stakeholder in Kitemill since 2012 and is now one of the company's five largest shareholders.