13 Dec Shell invests £5 million in new form of wind energy
Oil giant Shell (LSE:RDSA) has committed £5 million to an experimental method of harnessing wind power using high altitude kites.
The Anglo-Dutch company is joined by energy partners Eon (XETRA:E.ON) and Schlumberger (LSE:SCL) in the venture with Kite Power Solutions (KPS).
KPS have developed this form of renewable energy using two kites which are tethered to a turbine on the ground.
The kites simultaneously rise and fall, reaching heights of 450 metres and speeds of 100 miles per hour, which enables the turbine to rotate.
Advocates contend that this technology will reduce the traditional costs related to wind energy, as the large structures necessary to constitute wind farms are not required.
Geert van de Wouw, managing director of Shell Technology Ventures, said: “Traditional wind power is less efficient because it requires a lot of steel infrastructure, of which only the tip of the blade is really harnessing energy.”
Therefore, Wouw believes that kite power could be a ‘game changer’ in the field of renewable energy.