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UK rapidly reaching “point of no return” on wave and tidal energy, says Carmichael

Alistair Carmichael MP

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael has said the chance for high-value wave and tidal jobs in the islands is “rapidly” slipping away, challenging the UK government to “commit” on major green technology.

It comes after he joined cross-party colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Marine Energy in challenging the energy minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, to do more to support the growth of marine and tidal energy technology in the UK.

Mr Carmichael highlighted to the minister the recent announcement of a new electric vehicle charging point in Shetland, powered by Nova Innovation’s tidal array in the isles.

Speaking after a meeting on Monday, March 22 Mr Carmichael said: “We are rapidly reaching the point of no return, where if the wave and tidal energy industry isn’t built in this country then it will be built somewhere else.

“The advances the industry is making are enormous, even within the limitations they face. Just today we have heard from Nova Innovation that they are now powering electric cars in Shetland directly from tidal energy, a clear sign of the potential for direct benefits in the immediate future.

“These things are all happening and the industry is on the up, but without the final leg up from government – whether in Contracts for Difference or other fiscal support – then someone else will step in.

“This is a chance for high-value jobs to be created across the UK and particularly in island communities, rather than importing technology that we could be leading on here.

“The need for commercialisation support will only go away when that need is fulfilled, whether it is by the UK or others. With COP26 [the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference] rapidly approaching, it is an opportunity for us to make a statement on a major green technology for the future – it is time to commit.”


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