French dive into tidal energy as nuclear plants bid adieu

By Brian Pirolli | September 28, 2012, 3:00 AM PDT

PARIS – French conglomerate Alstom is finalizing the purchase of Tidal Generation Ltd from Rolls Royce in the UK. Alstom, one of the largest energy-producing groups in the world, purchased the small company in an effort to expand its every-growing array of renewable energy. The sale of TGL to Alstom comes just as the new French president, Francois Hollande, announced his commitment to renewable energy and decreasing France’s dependence on nuclear power.

Tidal Generation Ltd (TGL), formed in 2005, specializes in designing turbines for generating electricity from ocean tides. The process is nothing novel, dating back to Roman times, but exploiting the tides on a large scale has proved difficult throughout recent years. High costs and ecological concerns have prevented large companies from investing too much in underwater turbines.

TGL is trying to change all of that. In 2009, the start-up, employing 29 individuals, was purchased by Rolls Royce Plc, the branch of the famed automaker that broke away in 1973. In Scotland currently, TGL implemented a generator in 2010 that has been producing energy to a grid for 300 homes.

Read more: French dive into tidal energy as nuclear plants bid adieu | SmartPlanet

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