Alphabet winds down energy kite division

The kites are attached to buoys out at see, and use turbines to generate power. | Image: Alphabet

Alphabet is ending its work on Makani, a project that tried to generate power using wind turbines attached to kites, Makani’s CEO has announced. Despite successfully demonstrating a flight off the coast of Norway last year, the CEO said that business and technology challenges meant that “the road to commercialization is longer and riskier than hoped.” Energy company Shell, which collaborated with Makani on last year’s flight, is “exploring options” to take on its tech, according to the Financial Times.

Makani is the first of Alphabet’s moonshot projects to have been shuttered since Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped back from the business last December. Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai is under pressure to reduce Alphabet’s losses…

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