Alderney, a small British Isle 13km from France, is to make marine tidal turbines one of its principal sources of renewable energy after agreeing a deal with Alderney Renewable Energy (ARE).

Alderney and ARE have signed a five-year commercial contract, giving exclusive licence to ARE to research and test tidal and wave power devices. If successful in meeting certain targets, ARE will then have the right to choose 50% of designated Alderney waters to utilise for the purposes of producing tidal energy. Unlike the other Channel Islands, Alderney owns 5km of the seabed around its Islands.

The contract provides a staged approach to tidal stream power in Alderney, with the initial five-year testing and development period being undertaken before any commitment to developing large commercial tidal farms.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Alderney has one of the best and most accessible tidal power resources in Europe.