Marine energy developer launches Scots-built tidal turbine to match huge Wales tidal-lagoon at 15% of cost

A Capricorn Tidal Turbine on trial in the Forth estuary
A Capricorn Tidal Turbine on trial in the Forth estuary

A Scottish tidal energy developer has built a new tidal turbine which can deliver renewable energy with no visual impact at costs that is similar to fossil fuel generation.

The team at Renewable Devices Marine, based in Roslin, near Edinburgh, has successfully tested its Capricorn Tidal Turbine which it considers to offer better in-situ ‘power for cost’ generation than the proposed new tidal-lagoon energy scheme in Wales, as evidenced in the following table (below).

Renewable Devices’ director, Dr. David Anderson said: “We have brought together world class innovation and a proven engineering track record in renewable energy product development, to deliver the world’s lowest cost and most environmentally sensitive marine energy, in the form of the Capricorn Marine Turbine – a unique tidal stream turbine design delivering an unrivalled combination of innovation and reliability.

“The Capricorn 5 (50 kW turbine) and the Capricorn 125 (1.25 MW turbine) provide the lowest cost, the most reliable and the most environmentally sound marine energy generation anywhere in the world.

“As can be seen, for a similar sized project, the civil infrastructure that we require using Capricorn Tidal Turbines, the capital cost of the project and the payback are all significantly less than for the tidal lagoon project.

“Moreover, the environmental impact of creating an eight-mile long sea wall <in Wales> is a completely unknown factor”.

As home to the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre and with Edinburgh-based Atlantis Energy and MeyGen – which is building the equivalent of an sea-bed power station in the Pentland Firth off Caithness and Nova Innovation, also based in Edinburgh – Scotland is considered a world leader in marine energy.

Tidal Lagoon
Capricorn Tidal Flow
Number of homes powered
155,000 homes
155,000 homes
Area of seabed
11.5 square km
0.25 square km (2% of the area)
Visual Impact
9.5km sea and walls and buildings
None (all operations sub sea)
Tonnes of steel
100,000 tonnes 
4,500 tonnes (less than 5% of the Steel)
£1,300 million
£180 million  (less than 15% of the cost)
Payback period
 Over 35 years
Under 5 years

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed