Alphabet discontinues financing Makani wind energy subsidiary

Bet on kite power plants did not play.
Alphabet Holding, which includes the search giant Google, has set about cutting costs, as the loss from Other Rates in the 2019 report totaled $ 4.8 billion. For comparison: in 2018, attempts to find promising areas of activity cost the company $ 3.4 billion.

Holding ceases financing for Makani, a wind energy company. In addition to it, the “Other rates” category includes, for example, such long-term projects as Waymo, a company developing self-driving cars, and Verily, a company operating in the field of medicine.

“Despite significant technological advances, the path to commercialization was longer and riskier than expected, so Makani’s time at Alphabet has come to an end,” said Fort Felker, CEO of the company.

Makani was founded in 2006 to explore the use of kites as carriers for wind-driven power generators. In 2013, Google bought Makani and made it part of the Google X research division. In 2019, Makani was spun off from Google X and became a subsidiary of Alphabet. At the same time, Royal Dutch Shell became the minority shareholder of Makani. Last year, with the support of Shell, the first flights of industrial-scale electric kites from a floating platform off the coast of Norway were demonstrated.

Shell is currently exploring options to continue developing Makani technology.

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