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So there you have it. Both Heirloom and AirLoom are variants of long-failing technological pathways. They are both massively mechanically complicated for little return. They are both funded by Bill Gates. They are both destined for the dust heap of history. It’s remarkable that anyone would give them money, and it’s remarkable how much fawning press they’ve received. In this case, history is both repeating itself, and rhyming.

Wind Tree By New Wind

A waterfront lantern festival powered by a ‘wind tree’ was the last gasp for a failing business. In the final in a three-part series, Jonathan Milne reports how Evan Price’s chickens came home to roost – on a steel tree.

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Ron Swenson, an old hand at solar and electric vehicles reached out to me after I mentioned Sky Sails when I railed against a thoughtless article in the Guardian about a bladeless wind turbine. Turns out Swenson is also an old hand at competitive sailing too.

On 26 June 2019 the Raleigh, North Carolina News & Observer reported that James Allen Rowan of Mag-Wind fame appeared in federal court in an orange jump suit to stand trial for fraud.

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As a subscriber to the Guardian newspaper I nearly choked on my coffee at 4.30 in the morning last week while I was scrolling through my news feed. I stumbled on Bladeless turbines could bring wind power to your home. “Oh Lordy,” I thought to myself. “My inbox is going to be full of this all day.” Sure enough, a few minutes later I get a ping and it was Bob Tregilus (he’s an early riser too) texting, “Did you see this.”

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This week, a 13-year experiment in harnessing wind power using kites and modified gliders finally closes down for good.

Makani was still being touted as the leader in the space for the 2019 Airborne Wind Energy Conference, held in Scotland in August. And now, it’s dead. Alphabet pulled the plug a couple of days ago. This isn’t really surprising.

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Vaughn Nelson has pulled together some links to web pages that display either humanity’s incredible ingenuity relative to wind energy, or humanity’s folly, depending upon your point of view.

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In another blast from the past, Vaughn Nelson has tracked down a promotional film (now on youtube) from August 1985 of the Windjammer IV sail wing wind turbine. Patterned after Cretan sail windmills, the Windjammer uses sails or “soft airfoils” to drive a large diameter rotor in California’s Altamont Pass.

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In the research for his new book, Vaughn Nelson has been dredging up some amazing videos. (See Hywind Scotland Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Video.)