Project Description

Renewable energy technology due diligence

Norton Straw are a specialised engineering and management consultancy that combines first-principles engineering knowledge and applied mathematics to provide industry-leading services in numerical simulation, analysis and engineering design.

Norton Straw requested Innovateer’s support to review the novel aspects of the design and the commercial case for a tidal turbine design on behalf of their client. The design had been inherited by the client organisation, had not been produced at scale yet had received various grants for its development in the past and had novel elements to it, so a key aspect of the analysis was to determine the value of the Intellectual Property. Norton Straw focussed on the effectiveness of the design to generate power as predicted.

After analysing the novel aspects of the design and their relevance, Innovateer examined the commercial proposition, the cost models and business case for developing the product further. The analysis considered the landscape for renewable energy generation in the UK and for tidal turbine developments specifically. This, combined with the technical assessment carried out by Norton Straw, allowed the client organisation to take an informed decision on whether to invest in the technology further.

The analysis revealed that novelty was not a significant point of difference compared to established designs available in the market. It also revealed significant under-estimates in the capital and operational costs and this, coupled with reduced financial allowances from Government for tidal turbine developments, meant that the commercial case was unattractive.

This conclusive result allowed the client to make a positive decision to refrain from further investment.