Rod Ekern

Rod is an engineer and has joined the What if…Girvan programme to develop and pilot his idea, using tidal flow into and out of an estuary to generate electrical power.

His patented system is able to generate continuous base line electric power from tidal flow, which is not continuous. With help from What if…Girvan, Rod plans to build a prototype of his idea on a river to demonstrate how it operates.

Although the generation system will ultimately be used on a large scale, villages can use it to generate electric power from nearby rivers. This electric power can be used to generate revenue, provide heat and power to villagers in need, or to attract industry and business to locate in the village.

As well as the obvious environmental benefits, Rod hopes to have an impact and help to reverse the trend of young working families moving to larger cities for jobs. 

Rod said:

It is a worldwide issue for rural areas to be competitive in attracting business and industry. The migration of young people to large cities for employment leaves these rural areas in decline, as the remaining population ages, and our cities become increasingly overcrowded. The use of my generation system could help to revitalise rural villages and small communities, by creating jobs and increasing tax revenue.