The ambition of the wave and tidal industry is not being matched by the UK Government, a former Scottish secretary has warned.
Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has urged ministers to “stop dragging their feet”, claiming slow progress on a policy framework is preventing the sector from becoming commercially viable.
He made the comments to the chancellor and ministers at Treasury Questions in the Commons.
Liberal Democrat Mr Carmichael told MPs that renewable energy developers had come forward with a proposal for Innovation Power Purchase Agreements, a mechanism by which to get over the line to commercial deployment.
And he asked whether Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss would work with the business secretary to develop this plan as part of the government’s industrial strategy.
She said the spending review would look at the most efficient way of achieving carbon targets, adding: “I am working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in that regard.”
Orkney is home to the European Marine Energy Centre, one of the largest wave and tidal testing beds in the world.
Reaching full commercialisation could be transformative and bring much more investment into the northern isles.
After the exchange, Mr Carmichael said the minister’s response would “do little to assure the industry that they are a priority for the government”.
He added: “There was nothing in the Budget for this industry and the government have been working closely across departments for some time now. It is disappointing that little progress appears to be being made.
“Wave and tidal power generation are new and innovative forms of producing green energy.
“The ambition of the industry however has not been matched by the policy framework, which continues to prevent this sector from reaching the point where it becomes commercially viable.
“Renewable energy generation, particularly wave and tidal stream power are areas at which the northern isles is at the very forefront and the creation of these agreements would make great strides towards helping these innovative industries continue to flourish.
“The minister should stop dragging her feet and start delivering for the industry.”