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Tidal power, which could make a considerably energy contribution, has long been the goal of scientists the world over. But while many have dreamed, few have delivered in harnessing the ocean’s strength. As a result tidal energy has lagged far behind solar and wind powers with typical barriers cited as cost, hostile saltwater environment and damage to existing marine life.

That could all be set to change thanks to a British start up, Kepler Energy, who have developed a brand new form of water generator harking back to a traditional water mill. It is predicted the cost of operating, building and delivering energy could be cheaper than that of wind farms and other renewable energy at present.

Costs will be cheaper than lagoons and in time we will be cheaper than offshore wind generation

“Costs will be cheaper than lagoons and in time we will be cheaper than offshore wind generation. Furthermore, investment risk is manageable since turbines are added incrementally to form the fence, with each one generating revenue as it is added.” said Peter Dixon, Chairman of Kepler Energy.

The Kepler patented ‘Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine (THAWT)’ is able to operate in lower velocity and shallower waters than traditional axial turbines and the company are planning the process to ensure that it bears no significant risk to marine life and other users of the sea.

Each turbine is modular and can start producing electricity as soon as it is in position. As more sections are added the power return increases exponentially with a 10km run being likened to a small nuclear reactor.

Kepler are planning a trial 30MW tidal energy fence that will be located in the Bristol Channel, most likely to be located in the Aberthaw to Minehead stretch of water. They are hoping this will be operational by 2020/21.

To find out more visit www.keplerenergy.co.uk

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