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Royal Dutch Shell invests in green power kite

by: Andrew Ward, Energy Editor

Royal Dutch Shell has teamed up with Eon and Schlumberger to invest in a new form of wind power that uses high-altitude kites to harness energy.

The Anglo-Dutch oil group and its partners will each take a stake in Kite Power Systems as the UK start-up races for leadership of a technology that has also attracted interest from Google.


RELATED HERALD SCOTLAND ARTICLE: Energy giants get behind kite power with £5m deal

THREE of the biggest names in the energy industry, led by Royal Dutch Shell, have backed a business that generates electricity from flying kites.

Kite Power Systems (KPS) will use the £5 million investment from Shell, E.ON, and Schlumberger to establish a research and test facility on the Ministry of Defence’s West Freugh site near Stranraer, after it received the world’s first planning consent for such a site in October.

The firm, which was established in 2011, is one of several start-ups racing to take leadership of a sector that Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said could be the “magic solution” for renewable energy.

The technology uses kites tethered to generators on the ground to capture and store energy, making it cheaper to deploy and operate than conventional wind turbines.

Internet giant Google has also backed the technology, investing $15 million in US start-up Makani Power through its Google X research and development (R&D) arm.

Shell’s investment in KPS comes through its venture capital arm Shell Technology Ventures, which will take a stake in the company, which has changed its name from Kite Power Solutions.


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