TidalFlow Power Ltd is developing designs for the generation of electricity from tidal and river streams based on the principle of the patented ‘Hunter’ turbine .
The total UK resource if the best locations with fast-running currents were utilized is estimated  to be 18 TWh in the year, for which about 6 GW of installed capacity would be required. The best locations are shown on the map. However, if all possibilities were exploited, 94 TWh in the year is estimated .
In August 2004 the DTI announced the setting up of the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF) with a budget of £50M. The demand for this fund has been limited by the stipulation that a full-scale model must have already been operating for three months. Only one design of tidal turbine was operating at truly full-scale in July 2009, and a further £22M was allocated for development of other concepts. There is thus recognition that there is scope for other, potentially cheaper, designs.
The ‘Hunter’ vertical-axis turbine is one such design. Whether deployed from a floating structure such as a barge or from a gantry or pylon, the vertical-axis feature allows the generating equipment to be above the surface of the water, thus simplifying both design and maintenance.
1. Sustainable Development Commission Report, 2007, http://www.sdcommission.org.uk/publications/downloads/Tidal_Power_in_the_UK_Oct07.pdf
2. Quantification of Exploitable Tidal Energy Resources in UK Waters, npower Juice,2008, http://www.abpmer.co.uk/files/report.pdf