Carmichael presses ministers on missing support for marine renewables

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today pressed the International Trade Secretary and the President of COP26 for fiscal support for marine renewables deployment to be delivered in time for the COP26 climate summit next month. Ministers had previously indicated that specific support for tidal energy would be included in the upcoming Contract for Difference funding round, but the initial draft framework has not included this. Amendments to the plan are due by the end of November. The Northern Isles host a range of marine renewables projects, including the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney and Orbital Marine in Shetland. Mr Carmichael also wrote in the Herald today on the need for further investment in tidal stream energy.

Speaking in the House, Mr Carmichael said:

“Can I thank the Secretary of State for International Trade for her visit earlier this year to the European Marine Energy Centre in Stromness. I know that she heard there the very compelling case for the next set of Contracts for Difference auctions to have a ‘pot within a pot’ for tidal stream generation. We’re disappointed that the first draft does not include the pot within a pot so can I ask her and the President of COP26 to renew their representations to Treasury to make sure that we get that so we can take advantage of the opportunities?”

Responding, the International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said:

“It was a wonderful visit and I thank him and the community for welcoming me. Absolutely, all these new technologies not only in the UK but across the world are ones that we want to continue to invest in and I know that my friend the Secretary of State for Business will continue to champion.”

Reacting after the exchange Mr Carmichael said:

“There were plenty of positive words in the Trade Secretary’s response but no sign of a commitment on the investment in marine renewables. Time is running out – the government needs to change its auction plan by the end of next month if we are to have the support for wave and tidal that we need. In the month of COP26 it would be a dereliction of duty if that support is not given.

“These are the green technologies of the future. If we can lead in their development and deployment then we can reap the benefits in the years to come. Putting fiscal support behind these proven technologies should be a no-brainer.”

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