About Tocardo

  • Founders: Jeremy Smith, Richard Parkinson
  • Founded in: 2020
  • Employees: 4
  • Money raised: Shareholders, investment
  • Ultimate goal: To be part of the successful transition to renewable energy systems by creating customized solutions for our potential customers so that they will swap over from fossil fuels to renewable, sustainable tidal energy."

Turbines that work with the tides and generate energy that way? Tocardo from Wieringerwerf in the Netherlands is back in a new guise and ready to make a difference in the energy sector. Andries van Unen is the CEO.

What does Tocardo do?

“Simply put, we use the moon to generate energy. The gravity of the moon – and to a lesser extent the sun – together with the rotation of our planet creates ebb and flow. We use that difference in tidal height, in the form of kinetic energy which is trapped in the tide, to generate energy with our tidal turbines. As long as the moon, the oceans and gravity exist, there will be tidal energy. Our turbines can also be used in rivers where there is a strong current. Soon, we will be installing new turbines near the British Isle of Wight. The energy generated there will be used directly by the islanders. Closer to home, we have installed our turbines at the Delta Works in Zeeland. Around a thousand households now have sustainable, electricity from local tides.”

Also interesting: If it’s not windy or sunny, then there’s always the sea

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How did Tocardo come into being?

“The earth is made up of water for 70%. If we make the most of the ocean’s potential, we could in theory generate enough energy for the entire world population. But we are not that far yet. Using energy from the ocean is not new, but we are the first tidal turbine developer to focus on the development of these turbines. This is a technical story, but the gist of it is that it makes tidal energy more interesting to the market. Tidal energy has proven itself extensively in the past, but the high costs, manufacture and maintenance make it a slow adoption process.”

What is the biggest challenge?

“Large-scale tidal energy projects are expensive. A small company like ours can’t just cough that up. We need more resources in the form of investments in order to develop further. We need to expand our knowledge of the market. Tocardo’s brand awareness must be increased it can become a credible player in the fight against climate change on a local level.”

What does the future of Tocardo look like?

“With all our experience and expertise, we would like to contribute to the integration of climate-proof solutions for coastal and/or island communities. For example, by integrating turbines into dams. There is already more and more interest in small-scale energy generation projects. The changing global climate is intensifying the demand for investment in energy infrastructure. Our goal is to be part of the successful transition to renewable energy systems. We want to come up with customized solutions for our potential customers so that they will swap over from fossil fuels to renewable, sustainable tidal energy.”

Read previous instalments in this series here.

About the author

Author profile picture Andreia da Silva is a journalist. Her motivation for writing is the power of wonder. Every story has a story of its own. With passion, she now interviews start-ups.