Sustainable Energy

The future of wind turbines could be bladeless

The future of wind turbines could be bladeless
The future of wind turbines could be bladeless

With their considerable height and large blades turning almost hypnotically, wind turbines have become an iconic symbol of the planet's shift to renewable sources of energy.

In Spain, however, one business is looking to design wind generators that produce renewable energy without blades.

"Our goal is to develop a new wind generator that minimize(s) the amount of mechanical elements to reduce the maintenance costs and… environmental impact," David Yanez, co-founder of Spanish business Vortex Bladeless, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy.

The design of Vortex's generators offers a potentially revolutionary shift from today's traditional designs, blades and all. One key facet of the Vortex design is that it uses less material than conventional turbines, meaning less maintenance as well as less noise.

Vortex is not the only business looking to develop new ideas and technology in the field of wind energy. Kite Power Systems, for example, is a U.K.-based business that wants to use kites to harness wind energy. Earlier this year, CNBC spoke to researchers in the U.S. looking to develop vast wind turbines taller than the Eiffel Tower.

According to Vortex co-founder David Suriol, the business is targeting the residential market. "My vision, and I think it's the vision of the team, is to change the landscape," he said.

Looking at the bigger picture, the executive director of RenewableUK predicted a bright future when it came to both renewables in general and wind.

"We're in the middle of this fantastic industrial revolution, from more electric vehicles on our streets or smart technology in our homes through to different kinds of energy generation in our electricity system," Emma Pinchbeck said.

"Wind isn't just about a clean energy source – it's going to be the engine room of our future economy," she added.