An energy spin-out from Alphabet’s X research division has teamed up with oil giant Royal Dutch Shell to develop electricity-generating kites for offshore wind power.
Makani Power, which joined Google’s parent company in 2013, has been developing kites that are tethered to a turbine and capable of efficiently harnessing energy from the wind at 1,000ft above the ground or at sea.
“As the kite flies autonomously in loops, rotors on the wing spin as the wind moves through them, generating electricity that is sent down the tether to the grid,” Makani explains.
Makani said the technology could be used where large offshore wind turbines are not practical. It said its gliders were 90pc lighter than…