Bill Esterson, Labour MP, has called for the UK government to support world leading tidal energy company Nova Innovation by investing in the future not the past.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, Esterson said: “This government say they are committed to tackling climate change yet too often the evidence suggests otherwise. Examples include their support for an oil refinery in Bahrain but their refusal to help award-winning tidal energy specialists Nova Innovation.
“The reality is 99.4% of UK Export Finance in the energy sector goes on fossil fuel projects. If this government is serious about addressing the climate emergency, will they prove it by investing in the future not the past?”
The UK is believed to have Europe’s largest tidal resource and Nova Innovation said is committed to its mission to use the power within UK seas to generate home-grown, sustainable energy.
The benefits of investing in tidal energy aren’t just environmental. It has been estimated that, with revenue support, the tidal industry could generate a net benefit for the UK of £1.4bn by 2030, supporting almost 14,500 UK jobs by 2040, Nova Innovation noted.
Nova Innovation featured in the Climate Change emergency debate in Westminster on 1st May. Deidre Brock MP said the tidal array off Shetland demonstrates that the technology can be “scaled up and adapted to provide a constant and consistent source of renewable energy.”
The award-winning company was also heralded in Westminster before by Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, as an example of a leader in a sector on the cusp of something big.
Responding to the news on May 1st of the UK Parliament becoming the world’s first to declare a climate change emergency, Nova Innovation CEO Simon Forrest said: “The tide is turning for those leading the transition to clean energy.”
“The tide is one of the strongest forces on earth, an abundant source of clean energy. The UK has 50 per cent of Europe’s tidal resource potential but, to date, this remains largely untapped.
“Nova Innovation’s Shetland Tidal Array in Bluemull Sound, Scotland is the first of its kind in the world and has produced reliable and predictable energy to the UK’s electricity grid for more than two years.
“The UK leads the world in the tidal energy sector but it is on the cusp of throwing it away. As a viable source of home-grown energy, generated from a predictable, renewable source, this is staggering to comprehend.”
This emerging sector provides access to a new source of predictable and abundant energy. Nova Innovation’s tidal turbines are generating sustainable power from the natural ebb and flow of the tide right now and demonstrating that this is becoming an economically viable energy resource.
Simon added: “Tidal energy is already displacing diesel generation and, with the right support, could be in a position to displace nuclear power by 2030.
“The industry has reached a crucial stage in terms of development. Consistent government support for tidal deployments is essential if the UK is to lead the transition to clean energy.
“With this support, we stand ready to deliver. Now is the time to reap the benefits that tidal energy provides. Now is the time to turn the tide on climate change.”