Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today highlighted the international export potential of tidal stream technology in the wake of boosted fiscal support for the industry last month. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Carmichael noted the International Trade Secretary’s past visit to EMEC in Orkney and called on her to ensure that the government worked with industry to back exports as tidal stream reached commercialisation.
Speaking in the House, Mr Carmichael said:
“I thank the Secretary of State for the support that she has given in the past to the development of tidal stream renewable energy generation. Now that we have the very welcome ring-fenced pot for tidal stream energy, will she charge her Department with the development of a strategy to ensure that we can export that expertise as we move towards commercialisation?”
Responding the Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said:
“The right hon. Gentleman will be as pleased as I am to see that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Treasury were able to find a way to make sure that the Contract for Difference will be able to provide that ring-fenced support for tidal stream. As he knows, I visited earlier in the year to see the work for myself and to talk to those who have been developing this technology.
“As part of the work that the Department for International Trade will be doing on green trade across the world, we want to ensure that, as that potentially becomes commercially viable, such firms are absolutely at the forefront of the package of tools that other countries will also be able to use to help them to decarbonise their energy sectors. The Under-Secretary of State for International Trade will make sure that they are included and supported as they think about where those markets might be.”
Reacting after the exchange, Mr Carmichael said:
“Last week’s excellent news on tidal stream support should be the spur for further investment and development of our export potential. Even before the fiscal uplift announced by the government, industry figures made clear that there were significant opportunities for tidal stream development here to fuel green exports to the rest of the world. This is a chance for industry and government to work hand in hand, with benefits to coastal and island communities ready to follow.”