Technology firm Google has been allocated funding by the US government to carry out research into "kite" wind turbines.
In the return for the investment, the Department of Energy will be given certain rights to Google’s technology when and if it matures.
Google’s interest in the possibilities of clean energy led it two years ago to buy a company called Makani that had developed a tethered kite-like divice that moves in circles and generates energy from a turbine fitted to its main wing.
According to Google, the kites can "eliminate 90% of the materials of conventional wind turbines, resulting in lower costs". And as they are more aerodynamic than a conventional turbine they can access stronger winds, allow them to "generate 50% more energy".
The government agency sponsoring the research is the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). It is unclear how far the project is from completion and how much money ARPA-E will pledge.
Read more about the project here.