Tidal Energy

Tidal Energy Offers a New Source of Renewable Energy

For a long time, tidal energy has offered the promise of a new form of renewable energy. The estimates of global potential vary, but it is widely agreed that tidal stream energy could exceed 120 GW globally, if the right technologies can be commercialised.

The global tidal energy industry has made significant progress over the last decade. Around a dozen experimental turbine designs have been generating electricity in Scotland, Wales, Canada, China, France and Japan, many of them supplying power to local communities.

Technology Maturity and Cost Are the Challenges Ahead

The problem that tidal energy has is that it remains more expensive than offshore wind. Investment is now needed to mature promising technologies and to bring cost down. This is now understood, and initiatives are now underway to support commercialisation, such as the July 22 announcement by the UK Government that it will support tidal stream generation at £178.54 via its Round 4 CFD auction.

Access to Direct Drive Generator technology is now problematic

Tidal systems are ideally suited for direct drive generation. However, the emerging tidal market is experiencing two challenging problems:

  • Design compatibility
    Existing Rare Earth direct drive generators have been designed for use within HAWTs configurations. They haven’t been optimised to meet the specific requirements of tidal systems, so deliver sub-optimal results when forced into new configurations.
  • Access to reliable long-term generator supplies
    New tidal developers are struggling to gain access to the Rare Earth direct drive generators market. Rare Earth magnet prices have risen 400% since early 2021, material shortages are forecast, long-lead times are commonplace and demand for is rising fast. The combination of these factors is making it very difficult for new, predominantly SMEs, to gain reliable and cost-effective market access.

The Solution for the tidal market is the GreenSpur Rare Earth-Free Generator

Our generators are designed to fully optimised tidaLperformance. We eliminate the need for Rare Earth magnets and copper coils without any loss in performance.

  • 11 international patents.
  • Single 250kW stage of 1MW DD-PMG built, tested, and validated (2021).
  • Scalable design addresses 5kW to multi-MW.