THE UK has the opportunity to “change the world when it comes to renewable energy”, a Scottish company leading in the tidal stream energy sector has said.

Nova Innovation, which is based in Leith, spoke out after a report from the London School of Economics (LSE) found that Scotland was well placed to lead the world in the sector due to its “ample marine resource, world-leading research facilities, strong innovation activity in related technologies, and transferable capabilities from its established offshore wind and oil and gas sectors”.

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When the report was published on Thursday, The National reported how it had found that Scotland currently has a greater capacity in tidal stream energy than the rest of the world combined.

There is also more capacity under development in Scotland than anywhere else on earth, and the North East was named as a key centre of innovation thanks to research from the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.

Nova Innovation, which has projects in Scotland, Wales, France, Canada and Indonesia, was noted in the LSE report on multiple occasions, including for “an export order for 15 tidal turbines and a power purchase agreement from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia”.

However, it warned that the early signs of success in the export market did not guarantee a bright future for the technology due to a lack of uncertainty around investment.

While the US and European Commission have already made big moves with their respective Inflation Reduction Act and Green Deal Industrial Plan, the UK Government is yet to spell out its plans. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to broach the subject at the Autumn Budget.

Nova Innovation said the report “urges the UK Government to take a global lead and put tidal stream energy front and centre of our drive to become a net zero economy by 2045 and meet our climate change ambitions”.

Simon Forrest, the firm’s chief executive, said: “This report from the LSE highlights how the UK has the opportunity to change the world when it comes to renewable energy. Tidal is not like wind or solar, where energy generation relies on the sun shining or the wind blowing. Tidal is entirely predictable, and provides total energy security.

“The UK, and in particular Scotland – as our Shetland Tidal Array shows – has a world-leading resource when it comes to tidal.

“So, it’s time to work together to maximise this benefit for the nation, build a world-leading renewable sector that generates not only energy but a clean economy which the UK and the supply chain around our nation can also benefit from.”

READ MORE: Scotland 'has more tidal stream capacity than rest of world combined'

Nova Innovation’s Shetland Tidal Array, the LSE report noted, was the “world’s first tidal stream array”. It has been generating power continuously since 2016.

The firm said it had shown “how tidal array technology can operate for sustained periods without the need for regular maintenance intervention”.

Nova further pointed to the LSE report as calling on government ministers to maximise “sustainable growth opportunities” from tidal stream energy through better co-ordination between key departments.

The report noted that tidal stream energy also has the benefit of being in rich supply in areas which, historically, have been “relatively less productive regions of the UK overall”, the report said. These included Orkney, Northern Ireland, Cumbria, Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly.