Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news today that the UK government has reversed course to allow a ringfenced £20m pot of investment into tidal stream renewables in the upcoming Contract for Difference funding round.
Following intensive efforts by the industry - with support from Mr Carmichael who also led a cross-party letter to the Prime Minister earlier this month - the government has agreed today to a £20m pot for wave and tidal energy in the CfD auctions, which has been welcomed by business leaders. The investment is seen as vital to take tidal stream energy to the next stage of full commercial rollout, which could allow for a range of jobs and green growth in the isles and across the country.
Mr Carmichael said:
"This is excellent news and a testament to the tireless campaign by so many people to get the government on side. This is a success that has been years in the making and has the potential to set up tidal stream energy commercialisation - with green growth and jobs in the isles and across the UK - for the years to come.
"I have to pay tribute to Neil Kermode and the team at EMEC in Orkney and Andrew Scott and Orbital Marine in Shetland, amongst many others in the isles and beyond, like Sue Barr of the Marine Energy Council, who have worked in concert to make the case for tidal stream energy. By making a full-court press in support of tidal stream - demonstrating that this was not just a hypothetical but a fully-developed business case - they converted sceptics across government to our team."
"These are the green technologies of the future. By leading in their development and deployment now then we can reap the benefits in the years to come. Putting fiscal support behind these proven technologies was a no-brainer and I am glad that the government now agrees.
"I could quibble over the exact amount given - and of course there will be a great deal of work to be done to get this support into action - but now it is time to recognise a genuine win for the isles and for the country. This is an enormous opportunity for our economy and our environment - and now we can take it."
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