Tidal Fencing For Trapping Sea’s Power


Tidal energy fence consisting of a string of linked turbines can cause the generation of output upto 30 megawatts.


Kepler Energy, a British company, has shared its plans on an array of unique marine turbines that can act as a fence and generate electricity more cheaply than offshore wind farms.  The new design called as a tidal energy fence that is one kilometer long, situated in the Bristol Channel, at a cost of £143m.  The fence acts as a small nuclear reactor’s worth of electricity being generated from the tides giving an output of 30 megawatts (MW).  1MW electricity is sufficient to supply to around 1,000 homes in the UK

Oxford University’s department of engineering science developed this technology.  The new Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine (THAWT), whose design resembles a water mill, would be using latest carbon composite technology. These turbines are suitable for the waters around Britain, as well as overseas.

Peter Dixon, Kepler’s chairman said, “If we can build up to, say, 10km worth, which is a very extended fence, you’re looking at power outputs of five or six hundred megawatts.  And just to visualise that, it’s like one small nuclear reactor’s worth of electricity being generated from the tides in the Bristol Channel.”

As these turbines sit in water shallower than the 30-metre depth with the slow moving water.  The fishes can safely avoid the turbines’ blades.  As the technology is eco-friendly, Kepler confirmed that it would go through a rigorous environmental impact assessment so that it poses no significant risk to marine life and also to other users of the sea.  The UK government has given its consent for the large offshore wind farm that could provide power for up to two million homes.

To be built near the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, the new wind farm consist 400 turbines.  The new wind farm would be the largest offshore wind farms in the world, can produce almost 5,000 jobs during construction.

But the fossil fuel industry does not want to abandon its interest in British waters.  The energy giant, BP has announced its plans to invest about £670m for extending the life of its North Sea assets.  It would be investing in drilling new wells, replacing undersea infrastructure, and introducing new technologies to help it to produce energy from the given area.  The future would be secured “until 2030 and beyond”.  In November, the delegates of UN climate change convention will gather to have deliberations for preventing the global average temperature rise caused by greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding 2C above its pre-industrial level.