09 Aug '17, 10am

Alphabet's Green Energy Ambitions Hit Turbulence

Alphabet's Green Energy Ambitions Hit Turbulence

On May 16, Makani released a YouTube video . A camera pans on a T-shaped airplane, with wings stretching 85 feet holding eight small turbines and a tether connecting it to a tall ground station. The plane swoops into the air. It dips and soars, looping elegantly in circles that mimic a windmill, something it was built to replace. For more than a decade, engineers have been building this "energy kite" to harness wind power with 90 percent fewer materials than conventional wind turbines. But Makani, one of the oldest green-energy projects at Alphabet Inc.’s X research lab, is struggling to take flight. Support from its parent has waned in recent years, according to multiple people who have worked at and with the company. Several key Makani members have left. A former executive called it a "shell" of its former self. The people asked not to be identified discussing private ma...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/08/alph...

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