Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, will lead a parliamentary debate on government support for marine renewables. Mr Carmichael secured the debate after recently raising concerns about the potential for other countries to overtake the UK’s head start in the sector and the importance of investing in green innovation ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year. The MP has coordinated with renewables groups ahead of the debate, including the European Marine Energy Centre based in Orkney, RenewableUK and the Marine Energy Council.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Carmichael said:
“I have been pressing the government to give renewed priority to marine energy in recent weeks, so securing this debate is a positive step. I have been working with renewables groups ahead of Tuesday to ensure that we put the best possible case for financial support to ministers.
“Support for wave and tidal energy generation is just good sense. It offers a chance to generate the kind of green growth and green jobs we need in the Northern Isles and across the UK, and to lead in global innovation as we approach the COP26 climate summit. Ministers need to understand that if we do not take this opportunity then we should not be surprised if others take it instead.”
Neil Kermode, Managing Director at the European Marine Energy Centre, said:
“We are looking forward to the debate as it will keep the spotlight of Governmental attention on this exciting, important, and innovative area of endeavour.
“We all know we are going to need renewable energy to power the nation and those of us close to the shore know there is plenty of it in the sea. Government knows the UK is going to have to build and innovate its way out of the climatic and financial corners we find ourselves in and the debate can help bring the two parts together to make sure the support for marine energy will work for the whole of the industry.”
Sue Barr, Chair of the Marine Energy Council, said:
"The debate initiated by Alistair Carmichael is very welcome and timely. Decisions taken by UK Ministers in the near future will determine the delivery of the UK marine energy industry over the next decade and beyond.
"The critical need is for revenue support which recognises that tidal stream and wave are at an earlier stage than more established technologies like wind and solar. It is common sense to make specific provision which allows them to move from technical feasibility, which is proven, to commercial implementation.
"Our industry will soon repay that confidence by bringing down costs and delivering jobs and economic benefits, as has happened with other renewable sectors. The UK is still a world leader in marine energy and the potential is enormous at home and in export markets, based on a British supply chain.”