The UK Government is investing £800,000 in tidal energy pioneer Nova Innovation, through the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, to develop a low-cost, rapid turbine deployment and recovery solution that could unlock 100GW of tidal energy resources worldwide.
The CREATE (Cost REduction Acceleration in Tidal Energy) project from Nova Innovation (Nova) aims to slash the operation and maintenance costs of tidal energy in remote areas, accelerating the sector towards commercial reality.
Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, said:
“We are delighted to receive this investment from the UK Government and the recognition that we can drive down tidal energy costs and open up export opportunities. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to tidal energy where the UK currently leads the world.
“There are sites worldwide where tidal resources are abundant but where the onshore and offshore infrastructure is not available to make tidal energy a reality.
“The CREATE project will help to unlock a global tidal energy market worth £126 billion, and displace high cost, polluting fossil fuels. We are creating a solution to make tidal energy more affordable and accessible to communities across the world.”
The Scottish-based company is developing an innovative tidal turbine deployment and recovery system that can be used by a wide range of vessels, including fishing boats and harbour work boats. The system will allow tidal turbines to be transported from the shore before being lowered into position on the seabed. It will also retrieve the turbines, making routine maintenance quicker and easier. This will make the process of deploying and maintaining tidal turbines more accessible to coastal communities across the globe.
Greg Hands, Energy and Climate Change Minister, said:
“British businesses and entrepreneurs are already leading the world with innovative solutions to tackling climate change. This is not only good for the planet but will bring new jobs and investment across the UK.”
Nova Innovation designs and operates tidal energy projects across the UK, Europe and North America. In 2016, the company created the world’s first offshore tidal array in Shetland that has been powering local homes and businesses for over five years.