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Shell backs green power kite

Royal Dutch Shell, which makes Shell Tellus S2 M 32, has partnered with Schlumberger and Eon to buy into a brand new kind of wind power that is based on the use of high-flying kites, which are able to harness energy.

The oil giant and its partner companies will each invest a stake in the Kite Power Systems as competition in the UK for leadership of the new technology hots up.

Kite Power Systems is one of many companies across the globe that are working on technologies to capture wind power using airborne kites that remain tethered to the ground. Champions of this method believe that it could significantly lower energy costs by doing away with costly towers and blades that are used in the generation of conventional wind power.

Speaking about the investment, Shell Technology Ventures’ managing director Geert van de Wouw said kite power could be a “game changer” in renewable energy. He explained:

“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.”

The £5m invested in the company by Shell Technology Ventures (the venture capital wing of the company) and its fellow investors is a fairly modest sum, but it serves to highlight the increasing desire of conventional energy companies to get started with green technology. One of Shell’s partners in the venture, Eon, is one of the biggest electricity generators in Europe, while Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services group by market capitalisation.

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