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Government must stop dragging feet over wave and tidal industry – Carmichael

Alistair Carmichael MP.

Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, has called on Treasury Ministers to work across Government to help invest in the wave and tidal industry to push it to the point of full commercialisation.

The Northern Isles are a hub of wave and tidal energy, with Orkney hosting the European Marine Energy Centre, one of the largest wave and tidal testing beds in the world.

Reaching full commercialisation could transform the industry and bring much more investment into the Northern Isles.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Carmichael said: “Renewable energy developers working in wave and tidal power have come forward with a proposal for what they call Innovation Power Purchase Agreements as a mechanism by which they might finally get their devices over the line to commercial deployment. Will the Chief Secretary work with the Secretary of State for Business to develop that proposal and work with the Business Department and the developers to see the fruition of what could be a very important part of the Government’s industrial strategy.”

Responding to Mr Carmichael, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt. Hon. Liz Truss MP, said: “As part of the spending review we will be looking at the most efficient way we can achieve our carbon targets, and I am working closely with the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to do.”

Commenting after the exchange, Mr Carmichael added: “The Minister’s response will do little to assure the industry that they are a priority for the Government. There was nothing in the Budget for this industry, and the Government have been working closely across departments for some time now. It is disappointing that little progress appears to be being made.

“Wave and tidal power generation and new and innovative forms of producing green energy. The ambition of the industry however has not been matched by the policy framework, which continues to prevent this sector from reaching the point where it becomes commercially viable.

“Renewable energy generation, particularly wave and tidal stream power are areas at which the Northern Isles is at the very forefront, and the creation of these Innovative Power Purchase Agreements would make great strides towards helping these innovative industries continue to flourish. The Minister should stop dragging her feet and start delivering for the industry.”

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