Alstom Hydro has signed a licensing cooperation agreement with Clean Current Power Systems Incorporated, a private Canadian company specialised in the design and testing of tidal energy technology.

According to the main environmental regulatory bodies, this emerging energy source will soon play a significant role in renewable energy power generation.

If all eligible tidal stream sites worldwide were equipped with this technology, a potential 100 TWh of electricity, representing the equivalent of the consumption of 20 million western European households or 3 times the total consumption of Denmark, could be produced annually (sources: International Energy Agency, IEA).

In addition to its energy production potential, tidal stream power technology presents numerous advantages to the environment. It is clean, natural, invisible, and does not emit any greenhouse gases. Moreover, being a 100% predictable and inexhaustible energy source, it represents a durable new energy supply to respond to growing electricity demand.

The terms of the agreement between Alstom Hydro and Clean Current Power Systems Incorporated include an exclusive worldwide license for ocean and tidal stream applications for Clean Current's patented technology.

The agreement also includes provisions for continued close cooperation between both parties in order to further develop technology, deploy demonstrator units and subsequently position Alstom Hydro as both an equipment and turnkey provider for tidal stream farms. Alstom plans to commercialise its first tidal stream products by 2012.

Commenting on the announcement, Philippe Joubert, President, Alstom Power, said, "We are very excited about getting involved in this innovative renewable energy technology which is at the crossroads of Hydro and Wind technologies. This will enable us to leverage our market leading Hydro and Wind technologies, and the experience we have gained in these fields."

Mr. Joubert added, "We will be happy to provide an additional viable solution to our customers for meeting their renewable energy production targets and we look forward to government backing in order to further develop this new CO2-free technology."

"Clean Current is very pleased to partner with Alstom Hydro, the world's Number 1 hydro company. Alstom's considerable resources applied to this new energy field will be a great asset for tidal energy," said Glen Darou, Clean Current's President and CEO.

Alstom Hydro has over 400 GW of turbines and generators installed worldwide which represent more than 25% of the total global hydropower installed capacity.

As the world leader in the supply of hydropower equipment and services, Alstom Hydro offers products and turnkey solutions that cover all hydropower schemes, from large to small, from run-of-river to pumped-storage. With more than 6000 employees in 19 countries Alstom Hydro offers the broadest range of products and services for new installations, refurbishment, upgrading and services.

Clean Current's tidal energy technology consists of a horizontal axis ducted turbine with a direct drive variable speed permanent magnet generator. The turbine generator is equally efficient in both directions in order to fully utilize two-way tidal currents.

In addition, the equipment that operates under the sea has been designed to minimise risks of outage and maintenance. The outer duct improves hydraulic efficiency and leads to more robust operations (more tolerant to variations in current directions and turbulence).