HydroVenturi has raised £2.5m to develop its renewable energy technology.

The company, spun out of Imperial College London, has come up with a new technique for generating power from tidal currents. Porton Capital will invest £2.5m over two years, and Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation company for Imperial College, has reserved an option to invest up to £900,000 in the spin-out. The company, which was founded in 1999 using intellectual property developed at Imperial, has already received a £200,000 research grant from the Carbon Trust.

Key to HydroVenturi's tidal power technology is a design that does away with the need for moving parts to be submerged in the water. This reduces the problems of corrosion, fouling and maintenance, and the company believes it will make its devices cheaper to operate than competing tidal energy generators. Investors have shown increasing interest in renewable energy as oil prices soar and governments seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Separately, D1 Oils, a biodiesel company, will announce today that it has completed trials of its plant that will convert vegetable oil into transport fuel, as a fossil fuel replacement.

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